Intrepid Daffs


How did they get there?

I came across these whilst working in a garden this morning – a clump of large flowered, yellow daffodils, growing up through crazy paving (along with some equally intrepid campanula).They’re going over now (apologies for the picture quality – I took it on my cheap smart phone). I wondered how they got there.

I read an article a few weeks ago in which the author complained about people putting cultivated plants in inappropriate (i.e. wild) places. They were talking specifically about just this kind of daffodil, and how they hated coming across clumps of them where they expected to find wild flowers, the assumption being that some well intentioned but misguided individual had popped them in as a way of expanding their own gardening tastes into the wider environment.

But I can’t imagine these daffs were planted in the cracks between the paving, or that they were in the soil before the paving was done and have managed to break through. I suspect they must have self-seeded. This would be borne out by the smaller clump to the right, which doesn’t look to have set flowers yet. When I think of typical self-seeders the plants that come to mind are forget-me-nots, aquilegias, foxgloves, opium poppies; I don’t think of cultivated daffs, but I suppose there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. Unless they’re sterile. But the example in the picture would suggest that they’re not.

Have you come across daffs self-seeding? And if so, were they in an equally inappropriate place?

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