Almost before we know where we are, the bulbs are flowering and we are delivering to our florist customers again. The big excitment so far has been the long bed of fat bright hyacinths, which our friend Tammy has taught us to pick by pulling, a technique which gives us much longer stems. Also lovely are the first delicate narcissi and the floaty-looking hellebores, as well as the first tulip to flower each year - which also happens to be my favourite - Exotic Emperor. Packed full with creamy waxy petals, with elfin, spiky green outer bits and the odd streak of egg yolk yellow, it is always fascinating and beautiful; it flowers for a long time, and it seems to be perennial in our garden. We have also been picking lovely gleaming white damson blossom, and now we are waiting excitedly for the amelanchier to come out.