Brodie daffodils

Margaret Woodward writes:

'The development of modern daffodil cultivars involved hard work and careful record keeping over five decades and recovery of old Brodie varieties is still proceeding.
It is appropriate that Brodie Castle should still hold part of the National Collection of daffodils. Already famed for generations for its flower and vegetable shows, the first exhibition to specialise in daffodils was in 1899. From then on well over four hundred new varieties were bred by Ian Brodie, the 24th laird. It was he, along with two Irish breeders, who created from Wordsworth’s much smaller woodland plant the vast and colourful variety of daffodils available today."

"During the long decades of daffodil breeding at Brodie Castle disasters did happen. One oral history contributor describes how a new gardener’s lad from town managed to hoe the budded tops off the emerging bulbs - twice within three weeks. After that he was put on to loading the smokeless coke for fuelling four of the five greenhouses through the coal hole which is still visible in the east wall of the five acre kitchen garden. The hard, heavy shovelling would have made the lad regret his ignorance and carelessness. This garden is no more than a grass field today, apart from where the daffodil breeding is being done. "

"Less comprehensible was somebody’s inattention when the National Trust for Scotland took over the castle in 1978. Failure to oversee workers led to all the identifying tags in the breeding plots being pulled up, which destroyed a generation of work. However, the Trust, assisted by the College of Agriculture at Aberdeen, re-established a breeding programme. Using the meticulous records kept in the past, many old varieties have been reproduced and appeals worldwide have added more to the list. Of the original four hundred plus viable Brodie-bred varieties which were put on the market at least 120 have been reliably recovered"

To discover more about Brodie daffodils please have a look at this article about Brodie daffodils

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