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Published: March 8th 2009
Back in England at this time of year, it’s daffodil time. Maybe not in most people’s gardens yet, but certainly in every florist, supermarket and garden centre there’ll be boxes and boxes of bunches on sale. Classy offerings with leaves as well, or bargain basement 3-bunches-for- £1. From February to April, I make sure the house is rarely without a few jugs full of blooms in nearly every room in the house. I love them so much that I get quite upset when they first appear, because that means they’ll soon be over. How weird is that?
And here? Well, people seem to like daffodils too. They’re poking through the soil in many gardens round and about, and there are wild ones too, in the woods. Buying them though, is a different matter.
The best chance seems to be to find an old chap in the corner of the market with an enamel pail of blooms at his feet. That’s what I did yesterday. As usual in France, I was disappointed that the flowers were fully open. I hunted about a bit though, and found a bunch that had several almost-buds in. He said that most people didn’t want buds, and he’d just sneaked a few in because he didn’t have enough fully open. I handed over twice what they would have cost me in England, and he bundled them up in an old supermarket carrier. And here I am, looking at them now, glad to have them whatever they cost, and glad too that my bunch turns out to have twice as many flowers as I’d have got in England. So not twice the price after all.
By the way. They don’t seem to do crocus either. I’ve only found one garden (apart from ours) with any at all, though bulbs are on sale in the shops in the autumn. But they DO cut mimosa to sell in glorious blowsy bunches of sunshine yellow blooms. Perhaps that’s what I’ll buy in the market next week.
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