It's icy-cold, the fire is lit, the rugs piled on.
Outside, the first of the winter bulbs opens its sweet petals: a white hoop petticoat daffodil that I've grown from seed. I squint at my old label: it's from Alpine Garden Society seed, free (I'm a member), rare; sown in 2011, it's only taken 5 years to flower and I have 3 pure white blooms already! Labelled Narcissus bulbocodium ssp. graellsii which is often lemon or cream, mine are surprisingly uniform in the pristine snowy colour. Or...is it (I squint harder) `Narcissus aff [looks like] bulbocodium ssp. graellsii? So what is it and...what's in a name? I really don't mind. As the perennials slow down for winter and the garden starts to look quiet, I'm just feeling pretty darn pleased.
Jill Weatherhead is a horticulturist, writer, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead Garden Design who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, and works throughout Victoria (www.jillweatherheadgardendesign.com.au)