The daffodils at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland are generating lots of interest this year.
The Alnwick daffs made “picture of the day” in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 17 April and were also featured in the Daily Mail under the headline “Golden Days”.
And the man who helped to plant all 250,000 of them nearly 20 years ago, did it by hand with a spade!
What’s more – George Turner (52), the daffodil planter, who’s the current Alnwick Castle grounds man, along with his father and his grandfather before that, have clocked up 100 years’ service to Alnwick Castle between them – all in similar roles.
George has worked for Alnwick Estates for 36 years (for the last 13 years as grounds man). George’s father worked for the Castle for 48 years and his grandfather for 15 years.
George’s brother Sean works for Alnwick Castle in security and George met his wife, Denise when she worked in the Castle stables with the Duke’s horses!
It’s an Alnwick Castle family affair!
And the secret of the beautiful daffodils? George says: “It’s a lot to do with their position, the soil – and letting the leaves die down slowly after they’ve flowered. We don’t mow the daffs until around July. This year they’re particularly good because the early flowering variety have been delayed because of the weather, but now the warm sunshine has meant the earlies and the later ones are flowering together.”
Alnwick Castle is open every year to the public from April until September and hosts weddings and additional functions all year round. The Castle has recently won a much-coveted national award from Heritage UK for “Best Family Day Out 2018.
Looking after the grounds, both inside the Castle walls and around the town of Alnwick, is a full-time, all-year-round job for George. He delights in keeping everything neat and tidy and is particularly keen on achieving perfect stripes on the Castle’s huge lawns. If you visit you will see!
The bluebells in the Castle grounds are also particularly stunning this year and George is looking forward to planting 50 beautiful cherry trees soon.