Delightful daffs thrive with the National Trust for Scotland

by Ed Forteau /
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Feb 18, 2010 / 0 comments

Delightful daffs thrive with the National Trust for Scotland


Daffodils and the Lake District may be immortalised by the writings of William Wordsworth and yet this sentinel of spring, adopted by the Welsh as its national emblem is also a significant player in the Scottish horticultural world – whether in the fields of Kincardineshire or in the long established gardens and designed landscapes of the National Trust for Scotland. 


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.....

There are many thousands of different varieties of daffodils noted by the Royal Horticultural Society - around 1250 varieties are grown in gardens across Britain, with more than 550 different varieties to be found in National Trust for Scotland gardens. 

Robert Grant, the Trust’s Head of Gardens & Designed Landscapes said:

“The most notable collections of daffodils can be seen at Threave Garden, Dumfries and Galloway where 360 varieties are grown including the impressive display of ‘Southern Gem’ that fills a sloping bank below the house.

“Greenbank Garden in Glasgow supports over 1000 varieties in its walled garden and woodland policies and at Brodie Castle, Morayshire, where during the early 20th century,  Ian, 24th Brodie of Brodie spent his lifetime breeding over 400 different varieties of daffodils, many of which have since been lost from cultivation.  The castle grounds now support the National Collection of Brodie Daffodils which is at their most colourful from early April.  Particular varieties to look out for include ‘Coverack Gold’, ‘Culbin’, ‘Daviot’, ‘Fortune’s Bowl’, ‘Loch Maree’ and ‘Seraglio’.

“The impressive 18th century tree-lined avenue at Castle Fraser, Inverurie supports a mass of naturalised daffodils planted under the boughs and trunks of the variously aged sycamores that lead to the Castle and at Hill of Tarvit, Cupar drifts of daffodils surround the car park and garden walks – look out for 'Rip van Winkle' with its multitude of glittering star-like petals and the 'Tenby' daffodil (Narcissus obvallaris).

“On a more domestic scale, miniature and species daffodils can be enjoyed in the alpine- and rock garden that forms Branklyn Garden, Perth. Here such species as the 15cm high hoop-petticoat daffodil Narcissus bulbocodium and N. cyclamineus, which hails from Spain and Portugal, may be seen.  In fact many garden daffodils owe their fine form to this species, including the window-box favourite ‘Tête á Tete’, and the early flowering ‘February Gold’ and ‘Peeping Tom’.”

Other plantings of daffodils can be enjoyed this spring at Brodick Castle, Crathes Castle, Drum Castle, Geilston House, House of Dun, Haddo House, Harmony House, Inveresk Lodge, Inverewe Garden, Leith Hall and Fyvie Castle Gardens.

For more information on daffodils and National Trust for Scotland gardens please contact gardens[at]

1.    The National Trust for Scotland is Scotland’s largest garden owner, caring for nearly 70 garden sites of which 32 comprise major gardens and designed landscapes of considerable national significance. Almost every style of Scottish garden history is represented, from the model late-medieval garden at Culross Palace, through the 18th century picturesque landscapes at Culzean Castle and Newhailes House; Victorian formality at Haddo House and House of Dun and plantsman’s gardens at Arduaine, Branklyn, Crarae and Inverewe; with modernist styles being introduced as recently as 2008 to the small garden at the Hugh Miller Museum in Cromarty.

2.    The National Trust for Scotland is one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities, which relies on the financial support of its members to fund its important work of caring for the natural and cultural heritage of Scotland for everyone to enjoy.