Sunday, March 22, 2009

Of dandelions and daffodils

Ten years ago, a friend and I went on a one-week tour of England. We went in March before the higher tourist season rates went into effect. As it turns out, that is a great time to go.

When we arrived at our hotel, our room wasn't ready yet. As luck would have it, a tour bus out front was just leaving for Windsor Castle. Off we went to see the green, green grass of England dotted with daffodils. It was incredible! There were daffodils growing like dandelions everywhere. This impressed me more than the castle.

Then in 2005, my sister and I went to Iceland for a week. There were big beautiful bunches of dandelions growing there. Not the wimpy little dandelions like you see in Minnesota, these were big, healthy dandelions of spectacular size. Clearly they were in their preferred environment.

I suspect the Vikings brought the seeds to Iceland in 978 the way the Scandinavians brought them to Minnesota in the 1800's. I went online to try and find a picture of Icelandic dandelions, but nothing came close. If the plants had been evolving and adapting to Icelandic climate for a thousand years, our American dandelions have a long way to go before they adapt to our climate.

Sadly, daffodils have never taken hold in this country. You have to go to England in the spring to
see them bobbing in pastures, ditches and woods. My passport expired a year ago and I didn't have any reason to spend $100 to renew it. The chances that I will ever go abroad again are negligible.

But then, I have already been to England in the spring!


Olde Dame Penniwig said...

The Skagit Valley area near Seattle has lots of naturalized daffodils in it...we would see them all over, in the medians, here, there, everywhere when we lived on Whidbey Island up thataway...if you get a chance to travel that way in spring, you just might get to see your beloved daffodils wild and free again! That and literally millions of wild pink rose hedges!

Ms Sparrow said...

Wow, thanks for the info. I have always wanted to travel in that area. Just like the sequoias and redwoods, I'm happy to know the daffodils are there even if I never get to see them.

MaxCity said...

I adore daffodils. They are one of my favorites. I would have loved to see the ones in Iceland.