A host of 250,000 daffodils - planted by hand at Alnwick Castle
The stunning display of daffodils at Alnwick Castle is generating quite a stir this year.
The castle's daffs made Picture of the Day in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday and were also appeared in the Daily Mail in a feature headlined 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!
George Turner, 52, the daffodil planter, who is the current castle groundsman, along with his father and his grandfather before that, have clocked up 100 years’ service with Alnwick Castle between them – all in similar roles.
George has worked for Northumberland Estates for 36 years (for the last 13 years as groundsman). George’s father worked for the castle for 48 years and his grandfather for 15 years.
It really is a family affair, as George’s brother Sean works for Alnwick Castle in security and George met his wife Denise when she worked with the Duke’s horses in the castle stables.
George revealed the secret of the Alnwick daffs: “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.
The bluebells in the Castle grounds are also particularly stunning this year and George is looking forward to planting 50 beautiful cherry trees soon.
You can find out more at www.alnwickcastle.com or by calling 01665 511 100