We were planting bulbs this weekend. With the usual imprecations: ‘O God, why did we order so many bulbs?’, etc. etc. But I had a definite plan: the bank along the side of the lake is white with snowdrops in the spring, while the bank along the side of the driveway (the house is built into the side of a hill; flat ground is achieved only by terracing) is mauve with crocus. I am devoted to the snowdrops (less so to the crocus) but what I really like best of all in the spring is flashes of intense blue. Accordingly, the professor and I have created drifts and patches of scillas and grape hyacinth. We may be in for a few surprises, since in the gathering gloom I planted a number of allium schubertii here and there under the impression that they were a bag of muscari, but if they take, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t, they will add a touch of the unexpected. It has all been a great deal of trouble, but strolling by the side of the lake is an almost daily pleasure. I look forward to my squills.