|Hugh Town, Martinsville and the Royal Connection
Can you spot the connection? The answer is well known to Scillonian
flower growers, for these are three of our latest narcissus varieties,
destined, we hope, to become important crops here in the new millennium.
They are a new class of multi-headed narcissi with bold coloured flowers
and heavy stems. They were bred from crosses between the little known American
variety Matador and our well known Soleil d’Or. They have been named locally
and registered with the Royal Horticultural Society.
The first name will need no introduction, whilst another is in recognition
of the Islands’ long connection with our Royal Landlord. Martinsville might
suggest a local connection – a suggestion for the "capital" of one of our
islands perhaps? It is, in fact a town in Maryland, USA where the raiser
of these bulbs, the late Harry Tuggle, lived. It is a solemn thought that
had Mr. Tuggle, a narcissus enthusiast, not died in 1969, his stocks of
seed and young bulbs would not have come to us. The link was provided by
Barbara Fry who began breeding daffodils at Rosewarne in 1964. She corresponded
with daffodil breeders throughout the world and struck up a friendship
with Harry Tuggle which resulted in his executors sending the bulbs here.
So, this was an extraordinary piece of good luck for Scilly, giving our
growers bold new flowers for the future. Now, it is vital that by prudent
management and marketing we achieve for the islands the maximum advantage
and so perpetuate our reputation as "fortunate isles".