SEASONALITY is one of the greatest delights of garden-ing in the British Isles: that wonderful floral transition from snowdrops to daffodils, tulips to peonies, sweet peas to roses, dahlias to chrysanthemums, before the shivering temperatures of winter bite and all is quiet until the snowdrops arrive once more. It teaches us patience, if we allow it to do so, and the ability to appreciate the fact that fleeting glory encourages a sense of eager anticipation. Gardeners, more than most, enjoy travelling hopefully, with an eye to the seasons ahead.
I no more want the sweet-andsour tang of autumn-flowering chrysanthemums all the year round (even if I learned about ‘AYR xanths’ at college more than 50 years ago) any more than I want to eat asparagus in December, so why am I happy to plant ‘forced’ bulbs to produce flowers at Christmas? Mainly, I suspect, because they have become an accepted part of our yuletide tradition.
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