This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
I am glad to see these shooting up out of the ground in the beds and borders everywhere. Bulbs are especially robust, as indeed is the rule after a sharp winter with much snow. The new seedling kinds of Narcissus sent me by Mr Peter Barr are spearing upwards rapidly after the rain. This is their second season here, and so we anticipate a great show of them. The large-flowered N. Emperor and Empress, planted last;son in a 4-feet-deep border of loam and leaf-mould, have both pushed up leaves like those of Amaryllis in size: and the great golden-chaliced N. maximus is also very robust, and is already showing its buds. When fully developed, this kind under good culture attains a height of from 2 to 3 feet, each individual flower being nearly 6 inches across. For contrast with these we have the tiny little N. minor, of which "wee mite" old Parkinson speaks lovingly in his 'Paradisus' of nearly two centuries and a half ago.
Hellebores of sorts are the most showy of the present hardy or open-air flowers. Snowdrops and Crocuses are enlivening nooks and corners or walk-margins, and the Winter Aconite opens its golden bosses to the sun. These are the vedettes of a glorious host which the golden trumpets of the Daffodils will usher in. Golden Jasmine and Chimonanthus still "hang their banners on the outer walls," and of hardy blossoms of promise and great beauty the cry is "still they come !"