The Minack Chronicles

Derek & Jeannie Tangye

 When we think of ‘crofters’ many will think of those in Scotland and Ireland but Cornwall is also a land with a heritage of crofting.   Part of Minack is ‘crofting’ land - below an extract from Derek’s book  ‘A Cornish Summer’ gives us  an insight to that life. 

..”..all  we  wanted  was  to  live  the  same  kind  of  life  as  the  crofters  who  once  lived  at  Minack.........We  had  a  to  earn  a  living  out  of  the wilderness  of  land.....we  had  to  reclaim  meadows  which  for  years  had  been  neglected.....we  grew  massive  amounts  of  potatoes...before  we were  convinced  they  were  uneconomical....also  violets,  wallflowers,  calendulas,  forget-me-nots,  stocks  and  ....freesias.........We  have reached  the  stage  now  where  we  only  grow  tomatoes  and  daffodils.....the aim to spread  the  harvest  over  several  weeks,  and  ..stocks this flower farm with bulb varieties that follow each other in sequence.”

We have tried to gather information about the daffodils and narcissi from various sources along with images. Not being trained horticulturalists or even experienced daffodil growers we ask for a little leeway if we make a mistake. If you find an error please do let us know so we can correct it for our readers.
We hope that from this we can encourage more people to grow whatever the size of their 'plot' so they too can not enjoy the scents of Minack but gain pleasure from growing and the natural world that surrounds them.

With thanks to Kate and Duncan Donald at Croft -16  for their invaluable assistance and use of several of their images. 
Kate's knowledge made one realise just what is needed to be a Horticulturalist; the commitment required, the many hours of work as well as love of the plants. 
Also, to Longfield Gardens who were equally helpful and allowed use of several of their images.
Also Ron Scamp who had in the past been very helpful and for images used. Ron also sells the Derek and Jeannie Tangye daffodils! (see below)
I have given have links to their websites in the hope that they might benefit from sales with fans looking for historic and quality daffodils.


Actaea is a member of the poeticus division of daffodils. In late spring, single, fragrant white flowers are produced with flattened, bowl-shaped trumpets of yellow edged in red. A popular cut variety due to its reliability and abundant flowering.

Barrett Browning

The petals are pure white with rich orange-red cups. Early and free-flowering variety. One of the best for naturalizing. Barrett Browning has been around for more than 50 years and is still very popular.

Derek Tangye

Jeannie Tangye

Daffodil flowers belong to the Amaryllidaceae family and the genus Narcissus. Daffodil is a common name for a narcissus. There are 50 species in its family, and around 13,000 hybrid varieties. You can find a lot of information at  The Daffodil Society. These are just some of the flowers that Derek and Jeannie grew, some varieties are no longer fashionable. There is, though, a growing trend to bring them back as they are such hardy plants. Many of these flowers still grow at Minack and Oliver Land today.

In 2011 there were two daffodils registered with The Royal Horticultural Society, named after and called  Derek Tangye and Jeannie Tangye, registered by Ron Scamp, who is also the originator. He is an award winning horticulturist. Have a look at Ron Scamp's website from where you can buy the Tangye daffodils along with  many others.