Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Daffodils in Dalmore.
One of Seoras' projects was "na bulbichean",a crude gallicisation for "the bulbs",being of course daffodil bulbs,which were to be propogated, and the resulting harvest sold for profit. I was surprised to see that there is a Gaelic word for the "daffodil" which can only have come into our lexicon,when in times past, Gaelic was spoken throughout a large part of mainland Scotland. I have seen the yellow iris down by the allt,the honeysuckle growing on the side of the beinn,and even some beautiful little orchids growing out on the mointeach,but I don't believe the daffodil to be indiginous to Lewis(I may be wrong). I've looked up the dictionary,which says that "a daffodil bulb" is succintly expressed in Gaelic as "bun cruinn a lus-a-chrom-chinn". I'm sure Seoras knew that,but if you were in a hurry, "na bulbichean" would do. The bulbs project was one of George's later enterprises,when I was a student hitch-hiking on the "Continent"(today it's called An Roinn Eorpa). So Seoras was without my "help" during the next successive summers. The original daffodil bulbs must have come from the Fens of East Anglia,and since the daffodil is propogated by the creation of further bulbs,in theory one should obtain a substantial yield on one's outlay. Seoras made use of that fertile half acre down on the machair,where the bulbs were cultivated and harvested. The "Daffy project" was not a success(I know not why), and after a few years was abandoned. I believe that there were some others in Lewis who were seduced by the lure of gold in "bun cruinn a lus-a-chrom-chinn". Some bulbs(overspill from the machair)were planted in front of George's house at No.8 Dalmore,so that for many years thereafter,there was/is each spring/summer a beautiful display of narcissi "anns a'leos bhuidhe Dhail a'Mhor". What better memorial to Seoras'enterprise than the yearly show of daffodils in front of the house built for George and his wife Mary.