Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Spring

In spite of a sharp, cold wind here in the North of the country, Spring is marching relentlessly onwards.

The daffodils in my garden are all but gone and are ready to have their heads pinched off before they put all their energy into forming seeds.  (remember to leave the stems though so that the goodness from them can go back into the bulb).
My double flowering, weeping cherry in the front lawn is in full flower and a joy to behold.   And the blue tits in the wall are still busy feeding young.

Out to lunch again today with friend W after a morning meeting with a group of friends to talk about various things and as we got back in her car afterwards we noticed that the purple lilac where we parked was heavily in bud.

Once things start to move there is no stopping them in spite of the fact that we desperately need water everywhere (although not as much as Derek does in the nature reserve on the Kent coast, where the ground is cracked from last year and has never recovered; not a good start to the year.)

The are no swallows yet.   The farmer used to watch carefully and note the arrival of the first swallow.   Last year it was on April 17th, so already they are late.

It is a month tomorrow since the farmer went - how quickly the time passes in some ways and how slowly in others.   I am managing to fill my time most days and that is a good thing.   Onward and upward as they say.

27 comments:

Rachel said...

It is very dry and very cold in the east but we are having rains overnight so the crops are flourishing and this is pretty typical weather for East Anglia. The rape is in flower and the wheat is green. The swallows arrive here on the 24th so ours are not yet late.

Jill said...

You will Mark the swallows arrival and he will know.

Derek Faulkner said...

Blue Tits feeding young! in my area they have only just started nest building. Been out visiting a couple of lovely National Trust places today and the countryside has never looked better but boy, as you say, we really do need some rain. Looking at the long range forecast there is no substantial rain forecast well into May. Summer migrant birds are still being held back on the continent by the non-stop N. winds
and are only arriving in small numbers.
You're doing well Pat by staying busy with your friends.

Gwil W said...

We're trying daffs. We had no luck with bluebells. I will follow your advice. Do I need to take the bulbs inside in winter bearing in mind it can be very cold here. Or can I leave them in the ground. If so, how deep do you suggest. I have rhubarb growing every year in the place next to the daffs, maybe that's an indication I thought.

donna baker said...

Thank you for the tip Pat. I did not know about the flower head. It is beautiful here. It's my favorite season.

Mary said...

Yes, I've just nipped all my daffs and am heading out to do the same to the bluebells. We grow Spanish bluebells here as the stems are so strong - my beloved English ones don't do well - flop over and look really sad!

Thinking of you and glad you are getting about in the good weather with your friends.

Mac n' Janet said...

We're short of rain here too and it's quite warm. I always leave the daffodils till the leaves turn yellow.

justjill said...

Our first swallow was on the 17th, yesterday. My partner went out bird watching today and met the/farmer landowner in a huge BMW, who shouted through his car window, "Theres a lot of fornicating." He then saw the Ospreys which were indeed at it. We are not allowed to say where as they are a protected species. In our garden too there is a lot going on!

Sue in Suffolk said...

I am looking out for swallows here but a cold north-east wind will probably put them off and we are also desperately short of rain and have filled the water butts from the tap before we get a water meter fitted on Friday.

An old gardener I knew many years ago used to do complicated things with daffodils after flowering by twisting them into a sort of knot, he thought they looked tidier!

Wilma said...

We don't really have spring per se here in Belize, but the seasons do change in a subtle fashion. The big epiphytic orchids are putting out 6ft long flower stems covered with buds. They will begin to open in a few weeks and it will be quite a show!

Tom Stephenson said...

A month? It seems so recent to me. I was surrounded by a few swallows today, in Wiltshire.

the veg artist said...

We're on a north-facing hill in wet West Wales, but even I've noticed how dry the ground is this year. We have lots of different types of daffs/narcissi in large drifts, so we start off with the Tenby daffs, and they are over now, but we've still got quite a lot of white and pale yellow varieties. I'm a dead-header too. As soon as they start to swell behind the dying flower, off they come!
Blossom is just about out on the apple and plum trees, but our hydrangea have been confused by that spell of warm weather, put out fresh leaves too soon and suffered frost damage. It is lovely seeing things reappearing, though. Gets me out into the garden just to see if something new has peeped out!

angryparsnip said...

We had some winter rain but a small spring as it is already hot here.
We have had two smallish forest fires already. I hope this is not telling us a dry summer with no rain.

cheers, parsnip

Gabrielle Howard Gengler said...

Our blackberry winter came and left and came again. Sadly, our lilacs didn't bloom hardly at all. Lilac's do make a house smell good.

Penny said...

I am glad you are back reporting on your doings. Here we are having a quite warm and dry early autumn.

jinxxxygirl said...

We have been getting some much needed rain as of late Pat... thank goodness... Our lake has been filling some and everything is turning green... We could still use more and the weatherman is being helpful with 3 inches due Thurs and Fri... fingers crossed... Thank you for the tip about the daffodils... I will do just that the next time i go to the mail box..as they surround my mailbox.. :) Big Hugs! deb

Robin Mac said...

I really could not cope with the cold weather after living in the tropics for nearly fifty years, but I do miss the distinct changes of season and the wonderful spring flowers.
I am so glad you are managing to fill your days and I hope the nights are not too long. Cheers.

Cro Magnon said...

Only just a couple of Swallows here as yet. Lovely warm sunny days but cool nights; I've even covered over my more delicate veg' plants, just in case.

Hildred said...

My daffs are just beginning - I had hoped they would be in full bloom for Easter Sunday, but no, - they waited until Monday to really open, and are quite beautiful. Today the apricot trees are in bloom! Enjoy each day as best you can, Pat.

Dawn McHugh said...

Our daffs are still flowering but some have gone over, our first swallow arrived a couple of weeks ago, they are now starting on building there nests

Librarian said...

Not enough rain here, either, but finally we are having a few rainy (and even sleety and snowy!) days since last Saturday.
There are no swallows in my immediate neighbourhood, but I've seen them nesting at one of the farms on the fields where I often go for runs or walks. I wonder whether they are there already.
A month? I didn't think it was already that. You are right, time passes so quickly in some ways, and slowly in others.

Frances said...

I shall be looking out for swallows now! Good to hear that you are so busy with your friends and enjoying the spring. X

Christine Phipps said...

Sunny here in brittany but there is no heat in the sun . We had tutors over Easter so I have a pile of bed linen and a couple of lovely tying days ahead .
Two of the nearest departments to where we are have all ready have hosepipe bans we have had such a dry winter .
Glad to hear you are keeping yourself busy and have such good friends x

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Perhaps the swallows know that the cold weather has not gone and that frosts are forecasted for this week. They must have been watching Paul Hudson on "Look North".

Thanks for the daffodil heading tip. I shall tell The Nurse (wife).

Barbara Womack said...

I'm always happy to see the daffodils, they are so bright and cheery! Although, it seems that we won't have much of a show this year due to a bitter cold snap earlier in the year.
But, the tree blossoms are beautiful. So, we will hope for a good fruit crop.
It is quite dry here, too. But, the forecast is calling for a nearly week of April showers.
I saw the first tree swallow here yesterday. They are my favorite and always a joy to see.
You're an inspiration as you go "onward and upward".

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

The sight of the spring blooms is glorious. It took a while for the buds to come out this year because of a late freeze, but when they did, they quickly turned into their beautiful flowers. I am sure you will see your swallows soon. Our Goldfinches arrived last week.

Minigranny said...

Lovely sunny day here in Somerset - but wish we would get a little rain overnight as
I don't really want to be watering the garden this early. Blossom is everywhere and
roadside verges and hedges are really springing to life. The air was full of the scent of
Spring this morning. Take care x