Think Tamar Valley pre-world wars and the flourishing market gardening business springs to mind, thriving as it did thanks in no small part to the Tamar Valley railway line that got the fresh produce quickly up country, including specialist daffodils.

Now, in 2023, there’s a neat completing of a floral circle at Gunnislake Railway Station.

Gunnislake Railway Station enjoys the benefit of a group of gardening enthusiast volunteers. Friends of Gunnislake Station was formed seven years ago when the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership asked for community volunteers to help GWR maintain the borders. The group of about a dozen has done more than that, creating wildlife-friendly and soft fruit borders plus filling station planters to make the station attractive to visiting passengers.

A grant from GWR’s Station Adoption Fund has recently been spent on more daffodil bulbs for the two roadside borders, to bring a welcome splash of cheerful colour come the spring. The original Tamar Valley bulbs planted there were donated by Tamar Valley AONB during their Tamar Grow Local project on daffodils in 2017.

Now three new bulbs have been planted by FoGS that have been sourced from local suppliers.

One of the selected bulbs is the Double White which has a long history stretching back to the 17th century and rediscovered by Septimus Jackson growing in a hedge at Clamoak on the Bere Peninsular in the 1880s. It has beautiful, large and fragrant double white flowers. Once an extremely popular Tamar Valley cut flower, it was used to decorate local churches at Whitsun as its beautiful snow-white double flowers have the most amazing fragrance.

Hopefully, users of Gunnislake Railway Station will have that pleasure too next spring. Cornish Gold is the second bulb to be planted and comes from Scotland, is early flowering, extremely hardy and has the most amazing deeply ribbed and frilled trumpet rim in Canary yellow-green hue. Marinette is the third new bulb - conceived in 1985 through UK breeders sharing knowledge with American growers. Its flowers are intensely coloured Mini-Tazetta that glow like bright flames, paired with the most intense, deliciously honey scented aroma. Lorna Baker, coordinator of Friends of Gunnislake Station said: “Our station daffodils may not be making the journey up to Covent Garden but, fingers crossed, these newly-planted delights will give pleasure from early spring onwards. Don’t be surprised if you see anyone kneeling down at the station entrance borders to enjoy their fragrance. It will be well worth the effort.”

For more information on the Tamar Grow Local daffodils project, go to: ‘Heralds of Spring’ project where you can find some wonderful oral history reminiscences of market gardening in the Tamar Valley as well as fascinating facts.