My garden is now full of the old wild sweet Violet (Viola odorata) of our youth - before even the 'Czars' came in, much less the giant new kinds. I have an immense affection for this Violet, with its beautiful intense colour and its delicate perfume. It grew all about the Hertfordshire garden under the hedges, and little seedlings started up in the gravel paths, looking bold and defiant; but all the same they were rooted out by the gardener when summer tidying began. At the end of March or early in April, when the rain comes, I divide up and plant little bits of these Violets everywhere, and they grow and flourish and increase under Gooseberry bushes and Currant bushes, along the palings covered with Blackberries, under shrubs - anywhere, in fact - and there they remain, hidden and shaded and undisturbed all the summer. Where seedlings appear they are let alone all the summer and autumn till after flowering-time in spring. They look lovely, and brave these cold, dry, March days; but their stalks are rather short here, for want of moisture. If anyone wants to see this Violet to perfection, let him chance to be in Rome early in March, as I once was, and let him go to the old English cemetery, where Keats lies buried and the heart of Shelley, and he will see a never-to-be-forgotten sight - the whole ground blue with the Violets, tall and strong above their leaves, the air one sweet perfume, and the sound (soft and yet distinct) of the murmur of spring bees.

Just at this time we rake off the winter mulching that has covered the Asparagus beds, water them well with liquid manure, and salt them when the rain comes.