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Barbara Hepworth and the white daffodils of Wakefield and St Ives

19 Apr 2021

Tom Stuart-Smith selected Narcissus ‘Thalia’ for the spring display in The Hepworth Wakefield Garden and our Cultural Gardener, Katy Merrington, has planted these white daffodils in their thousands across our site. 'Thalia' are now in full bloom in The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, but there is an interesting story that further links Hepworth's childhood home of Wakefield to her adopted home of St Ives.

We recently discovered that Barbara Hepworth chose to grow only one variety of Narcissus herself at her Trewyn Studio, now the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St Ives, which in a happy coincidence was a white daffodil. In fact, Narcissus ‘Thalia’ was introduced to the Sculpture Garden in St Ives in 2016, as the most likely match to the ones Hepworth herself had planted.

We can’t be 100% certain that Hepworth planted the very same variety, but as ‘Thalia’ is an old variety, it is very likely. Owing to the differing climate here in West Yorkshire to that of St Ives, we don’t have many plants in common, but we think Hepworth would appreciate this link.