I have been to-day planting large quantities of the roots of the Tropćolum speciosum in various parts of the garden. These were given to me by a kind neighbour. He says the great secret (and he is p very successful himself) is digging the holes quite four feet deep, filling them in with leaf-mould and the light earth, and planting the roots a foot below the surface, and then they have two feet of loose soil to work down into. I hope they may be successful; I do hate being beaten. At least some must succeed, one would think, planted in five different situations. They have to be labelled with large white labels, as the great danger, if one's back is turned, is of their being dug up.
Driving last year on this day, I find I noticed the Nettles were well up in the hedges and just ready for picking, and the catkins were hanging from the Hazel boughs. A little Celandine on a moist bank opened its yellow star in the sun. I have never seen it cultivated in gardens, which - weed though it is - seems a pity, and I think I shall try it in patches under some shrubs. No doubt it is rather its early appearance than its shining beauty that has made it so loved of the poets. Wordsworth describes it and its surroundings with grace and truth in the following well-known poem:
Pansies, Lilies, King-cups, Daisies,
Let them live upon their praises;
There's a flower that shall be mine,
'Tis the little Celandine!
Ere a leaf is on a bush,
In the time before the thrush
Has a thought about its nest,
Thou wilt come with half a call, Spreading out thy glossy breast,
Like a careless prodigal; Telling tales about the sun, When we've little warmth or none.
Careless of thy neighbourhood, Thou dost show thy pleasant face;
On the moor and in the wood, In the lane - there's not a place,
Howsoever mean it be, But 'tis good enough for thee.
I picked to-day and ate with great relish my first Dandelion salad. I can recommend it again and again to salad lovers; but it must be very carefully washed, as any grit entirely spoils it. Later on the leaves get tough and bitter.