A daffodil is to be named in honour of food writer and broadcaster, Marguerite Patten CBE, who was one of the earliest members of the Guild of Food Writers.
The daffodil, which will be named Narcissus ‘Marguerite Patten’, has been bred by Ron Scamp of Quality Daffodils in Cornwall.
The final selection of Narcissus ‘Marguerite Patten’ will be made by Patten’s daughter Judith Patten in Falmouth next spring, from a shortlist prepared by Quality Daffodils; the ultimate choice will reflect Patten’s qualities as – "modern – vibrant – with a twinkle in her eye."
In autumn 2016, a limited edition of Narcissus ‘Marguerite Patten’ will be offered to members of the Guild of Food Writers, which has sponsored this naming, after which Narcissus ‘Marguerite Patten’ will be offered to the general public via the Quality Daffodils’ catalogue. It is hoped that the plant will become a popular introduction, and help to perpetuate Patten’s name through future generations, the Guild of Food Writers has said.
Judith Patten said: "My mother’s garden burst into colour every spring with the proverbial host of golden daffodils (hundreds of them) … None were picked. She loved seeing them from virtually all the rooms in the house, and bought cut ones for indoors. For her final four years we had a new voyage of discovery as I did my best throughout the spring to fill vase after vase in her nursing home room with a large variety of types, some bought locally, others sent in boxes from Cornwall, enabling us to marvel at the different scents and the complexity of their shapes. They really did light up her room, her life and her smile."
Marguerite Pattern died in June 2015, five months before her 100th birthday tomorrow - 4th November. The Guild of Food Writes invites Patten's fans to commemorate the date by cooking a Marguerite Patten dinner in her honour. Patten's publisher, Grub Street, is offering free books for the most "exciting or atmospheric" effort through posting descriptions or pictures on social media using the hashtag #Marguerite100.