I wandered lonely as a cloud in March!

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The special flower for March is the beautiful daffodil.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says

The daffodil stands for unequaled love, so giving this flower to someone expresses quite a lot. With their bright yellow petals, daffodils seem the perfect way to say that the sun is always shining whenever your significant other is around.

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But Interflora goes a bit further and specifies the narcissus as the extra special flower for March.

No flower embodies spring quite like the daffodil, so it’s quite appropriate that March’s birth flower is the narcissus. These cheerful yellow flowers are named after the character in Greek mythology who was so in love with himself he drowned in a pool of water whilst admiring his own reflection.

Narcissi aren’t just a symbol of vanity though, they are said to symbolise new beginnings, rebirth and rejuvenation. They also represent faithfulness due to their ability to bloom year after year.

For different cultures around the world daffodils represent different things. In China they are seen as a sign of good luck and prosperity because they bloom around the time of Chinese New Year. In Wales they are celebrated as the national flower.

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The daffodil is also the fund raising symbol for the cancer care charity Marie Curie.

The charity started at the Marie Curie Hospital , 2 Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Hampstead. This pioneering hospital was opened in 1930 by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, specialising in the “radiological treatment of women suffering from cancer and allied diseases”. It was staffed by medical women, and cared for 700 patients a year in 39 beds, with facilities for radium and x-ray therapy, and modern pathological and research laboratories.

In 1944, most of the hospital was destroyed by a direct hit in an air raid. It took three weeks to recover the hospital’s radium sources, which were stored in steel cylinders in the floor.

In 1948, five members of the re-establishment committee set up to oversee rebuilding of the hospital decided to separate themselves from the new NHS. Instead, they sought to perpetuate the name of Marie Curie in the charitable medical field.

The Marie Curie International Memorial was formally established on 6 July 1948, and shortly afterwards became the Marie Curie Memorial Foundation. This was the beginning of the charity that is now known as Marie Curie.

When I was at Junior school in the 1950s we had to earn lines of poetry off-by-heart. I chose “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth and I can remember every line to this day.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

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