After all those grey days of December and the sharp nippy frostiness around Christmas it's tempting to look forward to the longer days and the bright spots of colour bought by Daffodils and narcissi.

I tend to get fed up with the bright holly reds of the festive season and much prefer the clean look of winters whites. Soon tiny snowdrops will be opening up at the bottom of hedgerows and after all the decorations have been taken down and stored for another year homes tend to look a little bare.

Many people use the early days of the new year to clean and tidy up, de-cluttering along the way and what could finish the look more perfectly than a vase of fresh flowers?

Choose from tiny paperwhite narcissi, white Tulips, the starry flowers of Chincherinchees, white Genista, scented Hyacinths or the magnificent greeny white Amaryllis.

If you'd rather have an attractive plant or two then in cool spots place some white Cyclamen or a white Azalea. For warmer places go for large green leaved plants with dainty climbers such as sweetly scented Jasmine or Stephanotis.