In the ground and in pots, sunshiny daffodils succeeded the cool blues, whites and crisp yellows of stalwart Winter bulbs. And then, in turn, were themselves faithfully succeeded by pots of glowing, sunlit tulips.

A single, sumptuous peony tulip was the last of the potted bouquet to bloom, its undulant stem bowing behind a heavy, velvety head. In the wilder back border the late, stout-hearted ‘St. George’ variety valiantly rose from beneath a full year’s gone-over-discards to re-bloom, under timber, in the lidded compost heap.

There is always something straggly going over in the garden. Messy memorials to ephemeral moments of loveliness. Keepers of seeds and insects. The bedraggled tulips became beak-buffets for the sparrow family nesting under the roof tiles. Blue tits used to occupy that particular share of roof space but they have since moved into a narrower gap, beneath lower-level tiles, around the side of the house; not very far from the hole in the skylight flashing – where the bees come and go.

The brood that fledged down to the tulip pots has successfully scattered but the industrious antics of the parent birds suggest that another brood will shortly follow. By then the gone-over tulip bulbs will have been redistributed throughout the borders and the beak-buffet will be laid out elsewhere in the garden, where successive flowering plants – in their turn – will be left to quietly go over.