Visitors to my home frequently delight me by arriving bearing gifts. At this time of year flowering pot plants are keenly appreciated and make a colourful and vivid contrast to the sombre monotones that otherwise seem to dominate our existence. Sadly, however, the flowers droop, then fall and, as spring turns to summer, I have a display of depressed looking greenery on my kitchen windowsill. More out of routine than conscious effort they absorb the water and Baby Bio poured in their direction, but as the days shorten one begins to despair of their forlorn and hopeless attitude; will they ever bloom again? It always pleases me, therefore, when, as winter strengthens its grip, tiny shoots of recovery appear and, gradually during the shortest days of the year, those once subdued, sullen and sickly stalks blossom again with a profusion of pink and purple petals.