Wander "lonely as a cloud" and enjoy spectacular daffodil displays at The Valley Gardens in Surrey
|A "host of dancing daffodils" at The Valley Gardens, Surrey|
If you really want to experience the long-awaited joys of spring and feast your eyes on an ocean of daffodils, head for The Valley Gardens in Surrey just as soon as you can, because you will really understand how the great poet, William Wordsworth, felt when he wrote the verse that immortalised this charming yellow flower:
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 dancing daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
The daffodil meadow there is fast coming into full bloom and you can spend a memorable afternoon walking through the 430 acres of parkland and enjoying all the spring flowers, including narcissi, heather and some spectacular magnolia blooms - all welcome sights after the incessant and torrential rain that has been such a feature of the last few months here in waterlogged Britain.
|Acres of daffodils in bloom overlooking Virginia Water in Windsor Great Park|
The Valley Gardens are part of the Royal Landscape, and lie at the southern end of Windsor Great Park, near Virginia Water. You can park quite close to the daffodils if you get there early (parking costs £6.00 at the gate, but spaces are limited). Alternatively, head for the Savill Garden, and walk through to the daffodil meadow - it's not too far on a sunny day and you can enjoy the magnificent Heather Garden (below) en route.
The Savill Garden forms part of Windsor Great Park, and is named after its creator, Eric Savill, who went to work for King George V in 1931, as Deputy Surveyor. He was a talented plantsman with a knowledge of farming and forestry, who set to work, and planted the seeds of the magnificent 35-acre garden that is there today. It's home to several National Plant Collections and forms part of "The Royal Landscape" - a clever catchphrase for all the surrounding areas, including The Valley Garden.
|The Heather Garden, located close to the daffodil meadow in the Valley Garden|
For other spectacular daffodil displays in southern England, click here. This year sees them flowering much earlier than last and you may want to check with individual gardens before travelling a long way to visit.