Planter George takes pride in his handiwork

The stunning display of daffodils at Alnwick Castle has generated quite a stir this year.

Friday, 27th April 2018, 1:30 pm
Alnwick castle groundsman George Turner with this year's wonderful display of daffodils. Picture by Jane Coltman

The castle’s daffs attracted a lot of interest on our social media sites, made Picture of the Day in the Daily Telegraph last week and also appeared in a Daily Mail feature.

And the man who helped to plant all 250,000 of them nearly 20 years ago, did it by hand, with a spade!

George Turner, 52, the daffodil planter, who is the current castle groundsman, along with his father and his grandfather before that, have clocked up 100 years’ service with Alnwick Castle between them – all in similar roles.

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George has worked for Northumberland Estates for 36 years (for the last 13 years as groundsman). George’s father was employed at the castle for 48 years and his grandfather for 15 years. It really is a family affair, as George’s brother Sean works for Alnwick Castle in security and George met his wife Denise when she worked with the Duke’s horses in the castle stables.

George revealed the secret of the Alnwick daffs: “It’s a lot to do with their position, the soil – and letting the leaves die down slowly after they’ve flowered. We don’t mow the daffs until around July. This year, they’re particularly good because the early flowering variety have been delayed because of the weather, but now the warm sunshine has meant the earlies and the later ones are flowering together.”

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