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Fields of gold

Each spring, in fields from Cornwall to Scotland, you can see the golden glow of daffodils in flower. Some are grown for the cut-flower market, others are going to be harvested and sold as packs of dry bulbs in garden centres next autumn.

Around the Holbeach area of Lincolnshire, the firm of OA Taylor has been growing Narcissus (the botanical name of the flower we know as daffodil) for 100 years this year and the firm is now in the capable hands of the fourth generation of the Taylor family. They celebrated this anniversary by holding a Daffodil Day on April 10th, with talks by bulb experts, bulbs for sale, photographic exhibits showing the family through the generations, advice on growing spring bulbs, tractor tours of the bulb fields and all the machinery they use to produce the finished product on show.

The day was extremely well attended by the media, curious local residents, but most of all, by their customers. If loyal returning customers are the mark of a good strong company, then the future of Taylors and its retail arm, Walkers Bulbs, have a promising future.

Look out for displays by Walkers at the Harrogate Spring Show 25 - 28th April and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 21 - 25th May. Oh, and in case you wonder how they can produce their Gold Medal-winning displays of cut Narcissus so late in the season, the secret is that they cold-store the bulbs to trick them into believing itís still winter, then bring them out and let the flower develop in time for the show.

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