The best thing about this time of year – barring any late frosts – is the promise of what’s to come. The purity of snowdrops is being replaced by the visual joys of sunny yellow narcissi.

Bright and pristine flowers emerging from a tangle of bracken and clumps of perennial starting into growth is a welcome sight after months of typing, texting and grocery lists.

My favourite narcissi are those described as dwarf cyclamineus with their reflexing flower petals that look for all the world like they have been blown back in a gust of wind.

I already had ‘February Gold’ but last autumn I was tempted by ‘Peeping Tom’, pictured here, which we planted on the grave of our beloved golden retriever Barley who died last July at the grand old age of 16. This one has more exaggerated reflexing and a new one called ‘Warbler’ literally looks like it’s about to take off in the breeze.

Apart from dwarf cyclamineus, another favourite is the well-known little wonder called ‘Tete-a-tete’ which has naturalised under the winter-flowing cherry so that this year there’s a gallant little group of them.

This is the start, shiny and new, before the exuberance of tulips with their fruity colours and the abundance of summer perennials. This is hope after the darkest of winters. 

Peeping Tom narcissi has reflexing petals just like the wind has blown them back
‘Peeping Tom’