Entire UK stock of rare daffodil bulbs bought to pay tribute to Norwich park designer

A Narcissus Edward Buxton daffodil. Pic: The Friends of Heigham Park.

A Narcissus Edward Buxton daffodil. Pic: The Friends of Heigham Park. - Credit: The Friends of Heigham Park

A remarkable tribute has been paid to the man who designed a popular park, after a group bought every available bulb of a daffodil he cultivated - to plant them in Norwich.

Fred Greengrass. Pic: The Friends of Heigham Park.

Fred Greengrass. Pic: The Friends of Heigham Park. - Credit: The Friends of Heigham Park

The Friends of Heigham Park, in the city's Golden Triangle, snapped up all 150 of the UK stock of a daffodil originated by Captain Sandys-Winsch.

Captain Sandys-Winsch became Norwich's first parks superintendent in 1919 and held the post for 34 years.

During that period the former First World War fighter pilot created Heigham Park, as well as Eaton Park, Waterloo Park, Wensum Park and Mile Cross Gardens.

But he was also a judge and national authority on daffodils, originating three varieties.

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One of them he originated in 1932 was the Narcissus Edward Buxton - named in honour of the former manager of Barclays Bank in Norwich.

According to Barbara Segall's book Secret Gardens of East Anglia, Mr Buxton, who lived at Catton Hall, visited the Norfolk Showground in a lunch break in 1929 and commented on an attractive orange daffodil.

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But he died of a heart attack on his return to work and the daffodil was named after him.

The Friends of Heigham Park found out about the Captain's daffodils in 2017 and managed to obtain a few bulbs.

They are not widely available and are grown in very small numbers by a handful of commercial growers.

But this year, they bought 150 from Scamp's Daffodils in Falmouth, with funding from the city council.

A spokesperson for the Friends group, said: "The 150 bulbs that were obtained amounted to the entire stock on sale across the UK.

"The daffodils have pale yellow petals and orange trumpets.

"They flower in April and will not only bring splashes of colour to the park each spring, but will also serve as a fitting tribute to Captain Sandys-Winsch and his legacy to the people of Norwich."

Volunteers joined the Friends in planting the bulbs this month.

Among them was Fred Greengrass, who became an apprentice/helper at the park, in 1950 at the age of 15 and served under the Captain.

He planted the first of the bulbs and said: "He'd have been honoured. Oh yes, he'd have been honoured."

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