During these harvest weeks as I squirrel away home made jams and chutneys it seems ridiculous to think the long dark months of winter are waiting on our doorstep. Put the gloomy thoughts aside and while you can still get out there, soak up the last rays of sunshine indulging in the simple pleasure of bulb planting. It always amazes me how unpromising they look with their shriveled crackley papery jackets but hidden in these tight packed bundles there is remarkable life and energy. Parcel up gifts of bulbs to give friends a moment to look forward to, when with spring vigour they shoot up from the ground and the buds break open in flower.
The sight of bobbing yellow swathes of daffodils or sheets of fritillary and red tulips lit by bright piercing sunlight through still bare trees have an incredible capacity to shake out winter torpor. Don’t forget to include them in the house, pot up paper whites for bursts of intense perfume and display at eye level to enjoy the delicate beauty of the blooms.