21 JANUARY 1938, Page 17

Winter Blossom

Most gardeners nurse some particular primula that has an invincible tendency to flower in the face of winter. It is often not so much the nature of the variety as the way of a particular plant. Much the earliest in my garden and the most persistent is a wild oxlip transplanted to a congenial place. Near by is a spinney where just in one corner a bloom or two of the common wild primrose usually greets Christmas day. A neighbour has a blue variety of the Juliana type that is blooming almost profusely. It is a good year for the winter flowering shrubs. I do not remember ever to have seen so much blossom on the witch-hazel, planted close to the wall of a barn looking East. It is the quaintest and most cheerful of all the precocious shrubs, as well worth a place, even in a very small garden, as Daphne Mezereon itself. The bush that has no right at all to be flowering at this season, but is still flowering freely, is the purple Veronica. Such winter flowers are only less welcome than the winter songs which ring daily in our ears, from a thrush usually mounted on a larch and a dunnock in the low hedge underneath it.