Dazzling Daffodils – Walk in Astor’s Footsteps

February 23 2023 | Garden

The first of 70,000 daffodils are beginning to open and delight us as we welcome visitors to our event held to celebrate the Dazzling Daffodils (13-19th March) at Hever Castle & Gardens.

As part of Dazzling Daffodils we are delighted this year to encourage visitors to walk in Astor’s footsteps and discover the daffodils that we know would have been in bloom when he lived here. Some of the daffodils pre-date Astor too – we know of some that are a couple of hundred years old – due to the depth at which they are planted. We are excited for visitors to immerse themselves in the Orchard and experience the sights that Astor, and his famous guests, would have seen.

Visitors will be able to learn more about the daffodils from information points throughout the grounds. The gardening team have planted 10,000 extra daffodils. 7,000 in the area known as Acer Dell and 3,000 on Woodland Walk so there is plenty to see and discover this year.

Over the last five years, we have taken advice from possibly the greatest daffodil expert of our time – Johnny Walkers of Walkers bulbs. Johnny is the recipient of an astonishing 25 consecutive gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for his daffodils. Visitors to Dazzling Daffodils will get the opportunity to learn from Johnny, to explore the daffodils in Anne Boleyn’s Orchard with him, as well as discover all the many new varieties that we have introduced on the Estate with Jonny’s help.

Head Gardener Neil Miller says:

‘For myself and my team, March is one of our favourite times of the year – it’s when we can really start to believe that winter is on its way out and the promise of spring is real.  I often wonder if that is the reason why it was also the favoured season for our former owner William Waldorf Astor.’

Here are five facts about this wonderful flower from Neil:

Visitors can enjoy a self-led tour of the gardens or join one of the free daily tours at 11:30am & 2pm. Johnny Walkers, will be giving daffodil tours during the week (Mon-Fri) and the weekend tours will be led by Hever Castles gardeners. Discover more about the Dazzling Daffodils event here.