Last year our first hoop-petticoat narcissus were in flower for early December. A milder winter and newly acquired bulbs were reasons for the early blooms. This year perhaps we are back to normal so it is only now that signs of yellow are appearing in the alpine pots. And again the first to flower is the lemon-yellow Narcissus romieuxii "Atlas Gold" from Anne Wright. The flower heads appear from grass-like shoots seemingly too tender for winter. But here they are, hardy enough to push through grass in their normal habitat though they thrive best when that grass is not too lush. They are a welcome sight in the sleet and gloom, with several varieties just primed to flower in the next week. "Atlas Gold" was first, however.