Around this time of year a non-gardener will normally say to me, “Aren’t the daffodils beautiful?”

“Mmmm, I say. Or rather, “Hmmm?”

You see they’re not. They’re pretty ghastly as far as I’m concerned. I came out of the closet on this about 2 years ago. It’s partly their lack of subtlety – but mostly I can cope with the non-subtle – it’s more about their form and presence.

They just about never look right – apart, that is, from huge egg-yolk smears along the verges of motorways and such. But then one has the advantage of whizzing past the things at speed.

To me the true (and beautiful) harbingers if spring are things like a smattering of violets, seen here in a white form.