The Alpine House at North Yorkshire’s Harlow Carr both inspires and depresses me, for the plants are only displayed when in absolute prime season and no ordinary gardener can keep up. But the plants inspire far more, a theme park of what life in garden paradise can be. I tried to photograph the names as far as possible. This first Iris “Pixie” was sensational.

I have just planted my own narcissus bulbocodium varieties in garden pots for the Spring.

Narcissus “Cedric Morris” is one of my target acquisitions for this autumn’s planting but they are as rare as hen’s teeth. It is the earliest flowering narcissus I know, flowering in November in good conditions and lasting into the new year.

The cute scilla “Spring Beauty” is well named.

And again, the Narcissus romieuxii were so inspiring that I searched the catalogues and have already planted small pots of these unusual “hoop petticoat” varieties.

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