Tue 4 Apr 17
Look forward to Spring with a visit to the Daffodil Festival and look back at the heritage of this special flower
There is nothing that announces the arrival of Spring more than the sight of daffodils. Whether they are in a finely tended lawn, in a hedgerow or in vast swathes, daffodils bring a smile to everyone's face.
And what better way to celebrate them than with a festival? Over the Easter Weekend the Rossie Estate, near Collesie Ladybank is hosting Scotland's first ever daffodil festival. It promises to be a great family event as well as a must for keen gardeners.
Celebrity daffodil expert, George Anderson of The Beechgrove Garden will cut the ribbon to open the festival which runs on 15th and 16th April. Something daffodilly will interest beginners and experts alike. Outdoor activities for families include the fun Bring and Show; bring three daffodils of the same variety from your garden with no slug nicks on a natural length stem to show and prizes are on offer. There will also be a woodland daffodil trail and egg hunt, secret grotto, putting on the lawn, café with a Festival menu, local stall holders and plant sales.
The Festival has been organised by the Backhouse family whose daffodil collection dates back to the 1800s. Caroline Thomson is a direct Backhouse descendent and is attempting to restore the Backhouse collection of heritage bulbs. She and her family are immersed in a race around the country to find these rare species and bring them back to Fife before they disappear. These daffodil collections are incredibly important to today's breeds as so many are descended from them.
"To date we have been very lucky in that this exciting project has attracted knowledgeable daffodil experts whose support has been greatly valued. Hopefully the Backhouse daffodils collected to date will be enjoyed by lots of visitors to the garden and their grace and beauty enthuse future generations with a love of daffodils."
It all began with James Backhouse (1720-1798), a wealthy Quaker flax dresser and linen manufacturer who founded the Backhouse Bank in 1774 with his sons Jonathan and James. The new financial security offered by the bank allowed the Backhouses the opportunity to become dynamic botanists who changed daffodil breeding in this country forever.
Jonathan Backhouse planted trees on his land in Co Durham which was continued by his sons and then grandson,William, who became the first daffodil raiser in what was to become the Backhouse Daffodil raising dynasty. Caroline Thomson is a direct descendant and 6th generation of the Backhouse horticulturalists. A daffodil breeder and collector of her forebears historic Backhouse Daffodils along with many other Backhouse family plants across several generations, she is bringing her Backhouse family heritage back to life, quite literally.
For more information on times, parking and directions to the Daffodil Festival at the Backhouse Heritage Centre Rossie Estate by Collessie Ladybank Fife KY15 7UZ please check the website https://www.backhouserossie.co.uk