PAINT THE TOWN YELLOW: FALMOUTH SPRING FESTIVAL
PUBLISHED: 12:45 17 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:07 30 August 2017
The Cornish trumpet the long-awaited arrival of Cornwall's newest daffodil. at Falmouth's Spring Festival on 21-29 March,
The Cornish are to trumpet the long-awaited arrival of Cornwall’s newest daffodil. We wait for it to unfurl, and be named, for Falmouth’s Spring Festival on 21-29 March, writes EMMA PARFITT
Cornishmen and women in Falmouth are accustomed to really pushing the boat out and celebrating new arrivals, with champagne flowing and applause circumnavigating the Falmouth harbourside, including marking Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s single handed, non-stop sail around the world in 1969 and Dame Ellen MacArthur’s fastest solo sail in 2007. So when it comes to naming a new short-stemmed Cornish daffodil, any new incomer ought to take note, the townsfolk and commercial growers hereabouts are aiming to do a proper job’.
The credentials of Cornish daffodil growers are growing ever-impressive. As well as boasting one of the world’s largest daffodil farms, reputedly dating from 1885 and the breeding of the world’s fourth most sold (and utterly charming) commercial miniature
daffodil - the Tête-à-Tête by Alec Gray (1895-1986), the Falmouth Flower Show’s president Ron Scamp (R.A. Scamp Quality Daffodils) has a tally of 25 Royal Horticultural Society Gold medals for the daffodils he has bred during his 37 year career. The RHS awarded his company the “Peter Barr Cup” in acknowledgement of his work in breeding daffodils. Ron is also exhibitor and committee member at the notable, and long-established Falmouth’s Spring Flower Show (on 21-22 March). This year he has given samples of his... as yet unnamed, newest daffodil to Falmouth schoolchildren to grow in time to appear at the Falmouth Spring Festival Show. The new daffodil has been at least ten years in production,’ enthuses Jean Carr from the Falmouth Spring Flower Show Committee, and has now reached the stage when it needs a name - to be registered with the Royal Horticultural Society.’
All the clues the children had been given is that it is short-stemmed, has yellow, swept-back petals and an orange trumpet. But they will not see its full appearance until their bulbs come into flower this March. The name has been selected and a certificate presented to the child at the show. The Flower Show includes 29 specialist daffodil classes and ranks of 88 classes in categories of camellia, magnolia, and rhododendron, pot plants, orchid, floral arrangements and photography.
You do not need to be that green- fingered to enter. Falmouth Floral Committee member Jean Cook, explains. This is a show in the heart of our town, in which everyone can take part. You do not need to know the name of your best camellia,- if it’s your best flower, just share it with us.’
Falmouth Flower Show, Princess Pavilion, Gyllyngdune Gardens 21-22 March.
The famous Fentongollan daffodils grow nearby - some 170 acres of them, basking in warm sun and rooted in fertile Cornish soil on the Fal estuary. The Hoskings family has been farming here for over 130 years. The company exports worldwide - and can trace their farming heritage back to a time when tractors and articulated transport was not commonplace.The family now cultivates 400 daffodil flower varieties, including many that are new - boutique buds, both unique and rare. You can get a glorious flower box delivered in 30, 60 or 100 stems by first-class post, and even a month of dashing yellow daffodils delivered in monthly packages (flowerfarm.co.uk).
In the Foyer of the Municipal Buildings, The Moor, on 5-28 March the free Then & Now, Cornwall’s Daffodil Families’ Exhibition aims will trace the historic growing of daffodils from the Isles of Scilly, Penzance and
the Falmouth areas in photographs, arrangements and a display of gardening books in the Falmouth Library.
Thursday, 26 March sees the installation of Dawn French as the new Chancellor of Falmouth University, swept along in a daffodil-strewn procession which will leave The Moor at 11am, heading to King Charles The Martyr Church, with daffodils being given out to passers-by and shops, by attendant schoolchildren and students.
On Thursday 12 March the town was ablaze - with colour. We are promised a Paint the Town Yellow Day by local schoolchildren and interior-design students from Falmouth University. They aim to brighten nearly 100 shop windows with thousands of daffodils and decorations - watch this floral space! Falmouth gets spruced up for the new Spring season on 13 and 14 March, on the beach, painted and primed, with a revamp for some areas. So, if you are local, lend your help for a good cause (contact 01326-313553).
Meet the Vikings who are coming to town by boat, as part of a reconstruction to celebrate the coming of a new Viking Voyagers exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Falmouth Cornwall. It opens during Spring Festival Week, on
20 March. See historically significant artefacts, a full-scale replica coastal cargo Viking ship of 11th-century Denmark, and the invitation to climb aboard - the usual museum entry fees apply. nmmc-co.com
On 27-29 March celebrate fresh Cornish produce including fruits de mer at the waterside at Falmouth’s Prince of Wales Pier for an oyster catch and cook off, washed down with a good glug, or two of Cornish ale, cider or Camel Valley wines. popupgatherings.co.uk
A Folk n Cider Fayre on 27-29 March musters folk music bands to celebrate scrumpy-boosted song and dance and 50 scrumptious ciders. A special Cornish Ceilidh event on Friday evening from 7pm will add to the momentum. (falmouthfestivals.co.uk for details).
Don’t miss the chance to walk off the hangover on 14 March when a pick of the rambles should surely be Frenchman’s Creek to spot estuary wildlife and the 2.5 mile woodland trail with Steve Crummay from Explore in Cornwall (£5pp booking essential - 01736 740234).
falmouthfestivals.co.uk or falmouth.co.uk