My first visit of the year to Thorpe Perrow Gardens in Bedale, North Yorkshire, with friend W and her dog, Sophie. At first we feared we would be unable to go as it was a wet morning but by eleven o'clock the sun had poked through and we decided to chance it.
This is the time of year to go in order to see the Spring flowers - in fact the King Alfred daffodils, the large, yellow, showy ones are not quite out yet. But there was plenty to see and what a joy it was to see it.
The bog garden had a mass of marsh marigolds, which made my one solitary one on our beck seem rather feeble. The skunk cabbage was also in bloom in the bog. By the side of the bog two nice young men (young men get nicer when you get to our age!) were building a new climbing frame in the childrens' play area.
The witch-hazel was in full flower and there were patches of blue scilla everywhere. On the lake two pairs of ducks were courting rather loudly while a quiet coot pecked along the grass and took absolutely no notice of us as we passed.
After an hour's gentle walk we went into the restaurant and had lunch of a bowl of soup (butternut squash and carrot) a plate of sandwiches and a piece of apple cake - together with two cups of coffee. A lovely journey home as we noted how quickly the hawthorn hedges are coming into leaf.
At home the farmer was eager to tell me that the first swallow has arrived on the farm and that a pair of little owls look as though they are nesting in one of our barns. It's all happening folks. And thanks to W for taking me along.