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By Michael Doran

You know spring has sprung when the daffodils are blooming, and a great place to see them in all their glory is at Hancock’s Daffodil Festival.

Located in Menzies Creek, Hancock’s Daffodils is owned by Will and Christine Ashburner and they’re keen to advise both experts and novices on how to get the best out of their bulbs.

“It is all about planning ahead, and by coming to the festival you can see what the bulbs will look like in flower and be ready for planting in autumn,” Ms Ashburner told the Mail.

“We specialise in having the biggest range of daffodils in the country and sometimes it surprises people to see that all daffodils are not the same.”

A sea of flowering colour will greet visitors, from the extensive indoor and garden displays with a large variety of fresh cut flowers, to potted daffodils and collector’s bulbs.

Hancock’s have an extensive online catalogue with detailed descriptions and pictures to choose from and each order comes with detailed cultural notes on how to get the best out of plantings.

“Daffodils are certainly our specialty but we also have other bulb varieties available, all of which are in our online catalogue,” Ms Ashburner said.

The business can trace its roots back to 1917 when an Englishman, Harry Brown, started breeding and selling daffodils in Ballarat.

It moved to different sites as ownership changed hands before ending up in Menzies Creek in 1967.

The Ashburners took over the farm in 2000 and have continued introducing new bulb varieties, which are all tested for the local climate, from their own programs or from other breeders world-wide.

From its humble origins more than 100 years ago, the business has evolved to become Australia’s leading daffodil specialists, offering more than 1000 individual varieties to home gardeners around the country.

The festival is open weekdays from 11am to 4pm and on weekends from 10am to 5pm until Sunday 30 September, at the corner of Belgrave-Gembrook and Jacksons Hill roads, Menzies Creek.

Entrance is free, complimentary tea and coffee is available and there is a picnic ground opposite the farm.

Details can be found at www.daffodilbulbs.com.au.

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