One of the wonderful beauties that all of us living in Milverton wake up to every spring, even during a lockdown, is that bucket full of daffodils standing outside the village shop. They come to us courtesy of Milns Priscott, who lives down along Mill Lane. In our part of England, spring is a dance in slow motion. Whether in pots or the garden, those daffodils start their bloom in February and are still beautiful into early April! With nighttime temperatures in the single digits and days in the teens, it’s like being in a floral cooler for them, and they crawl slowly towards summer.
During the Lenten season, Milns tutored us in the ways of the English garden. I had the good fortune to be the daffodil picker, roaming daily through his garden and orchard. The daffodils took their turn on the spring stage. Starting the season with 5 or 6 dozen a day, the numbers grew to more than 400 dozen in all! These included some heirloom narcissus which are fragrant and ethereal. I tried to paint these—and what you see here is the outcome, but how do you paint a fragrance? I call it ‘Spring Awakening!’
Mark Hakomaki lives here in the village where he paints and gardens.