Spring sunshine cannot be guaranteed, but when it does appear it can work small miracles, warming the soil, encouraging buds to open and illuminating the cheerful trumpets of daffodils.

There's no other flower that quite sums up the season so completely as this early bulb and in this edition of Scottish Gardener we celebrate its arrival with news of where you can enjoy daffodils at their best, from the National Daffodil Festival in Fife to the spring bulb shows held by gardening societies and even the fields of Angus where farmers cultivate the flowers that we buy in bunches from supermarkets.

There are daffodils in bloom at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which this year is marking its 350th birthday. Anyone who has ever strolled through this tranquil green space in the heart of the Capital will know just how special it is, particularly in spring when the huge rock garden is flourishing, the Chinese Hillside is covered in flowering shrubs and under cover in the alpine houses, flowers from high slopes around the world are glowing like tiny jewels. But what many visitors don't realise is that this is a world class centre of plant science and conservation and that, behind the scenes, vital work is being done to save endangered plants from Scotland and beyond.

For some people their garden is a private haven, but others love nothing better than to invite others into their space and increasingly enthusiasts are sharing their gardening activities online. Following gardening blogs can be fascinating and informative and one of Scotland's leading gardening bloggers,, brings us up to date on the best of the Scottish blogs that are just a click away.

Many bloggers focus on growing food and there is now strong evidence that when it comes to veg, the more colourful the better, so we've got advice on what to grow to boost the nutrients in your diet. We've got good ideas too on plants to grow in shady spaces, as well as an early preview of Gardening Scotland 2020 and an interview with Fiona Thackeray whose new book 'Plastic-free Gardening' points the way to a future when our gardens contain only those things that can be used or recycled.

So why not stop what you are doing, step out into the sunshine and start gearing up for the growing year ahead.

Agnes Stevenson,
Scottish Gardener Editor

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