Coronavirus: We would like to thank our customers for continued support in these difficult times. We are a web based company operating in a rural area, so our staff travel to work by car individually and both in our office & factory we have enough room to maintain social distancing. As such and in consultation with our staff, we have decided to remain open for business unless or until government policy changes. We are still able to despatch most of our products, however, the ones listed below (that are made by other manufacturers) will not be available for a while.

Products temporarily unavailable: Folded Maps, Tableware (Coasters & Placemats), Jigsaws, Wallpaper.

Dispatch times may vary from those quoted. We will update this message as anything changes.

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Daffodils!

Published on March 18th, 2020

A golden host of daffodils is one of the most welcome sights of spring, proof that the cold, dark days of winter are over and summer is not far away. In celebration of the season, this image feature highlights some photos of daffodils and narcissi in The Francis Frith Collection.


One of the best-loved poems in Britain is William Wordsworth’s ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’, popularly known as ‘The Daffodils’. It was inspired by an event on April 15th 1802, in which Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came across a ‘long belt’ of daffodils on a walk beside Lake Ullswater in the Lake District.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) photo


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;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: --
A poet could not but be gay
In such a laughing company:
I gaz'd--and gaz'd--but little thought
What wealth the shew to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.
Daffodil colour photo

Photo: Ullswater, 1888.

Flower farming used to be a staple industry of the Isles of Scilly, south-west of the farthest tip of Cornwall, which became known for the quality of their narcissi and daffodils. The unique balmy climate of the Isles make flower growing economically viable in the 19th century, and in the dead months of winter the fields around St Mary’s were aflame with daffodils and narcissi. A little later, in early spring, came the irises, tulips, stocks and violets. The Scillonians worked hard for their harvest, which became a staple industry of the islands, and by 1886 they were growing and selling 160 varieties of narcissus. A season’s export might amount to almost five million bunches. In spring, every available man, woman and child devoted themselves to the flower harvest, plucking, bunching and packing the half-opened blooms. Packet boats waited at the quay to be loaded to the gunwhales with boxes of flowers. Flower growing, especially of daffodils and narcissi, still form an important part of the agricultural economy of the Isles of Scilly, although not to the great extent of the past. Two varieties which have stayed the course from those days are Scilly Whites and Soleil d’Or.

Photo: St Mary's, Scillonian Family c.1891.

Photo: St Mary's, Flower Farming, Daffodils c.1891.

Photo: St Mary's, Narcissus Flower Farm c.1891.

Photo: St Mary's, Flower Picking c.1959.

Photo: St Mary's, Flower Picking c.1955.

Photo: Tresco, In The Tying House 1894.

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