Sunday morning here in Lewes was sunny and warm until a breeze arrived mid afternoon with some milky clouds. It was the perfect day to admire the cherry blossom which has been especially beautiful this Spring but will peak in perfection this week just as it has been joined by my “Denim” Irises and its neighbourly Bramley Apple blossom. They were all set off perfectly by the pure blue sky.
My small walled garden is looking particularly orderly at the moment but it is also bursting with energy now that last week’s rain has brought a rush of new foliage whilst failing to disturb the blossom or my magnolia which has finally settled down in its giant pot after reacting bad-temperedly to being replanted last year.
The bright red ranunculus plants, the first time I’ve grown them, are looking very much at home blending their confident colour nicely with the blues and pinks that surround them. They go especially well with my neighbour’s washing too – I’m pleased they weren’t hanging out anything orange coloured this Sunday.
Blossom, flowers and new leaves made my small garden a mini-oasis yesterday allowing me to enjoy the Spring with enough promise of Summer too to fill me with optimism for the future.
The cherry blossom has been particularly popular with the bees who fly away quite intoxicated after their sojourn in those delicate pink blooms. When the blossom has long faded, I’m hoping to keep the bees interested with two new lavender plants that will sit in urns by the roses all Summer.
This though is the time for delicate, short lived pleasures so I’m enjoying my irises and tulips in their brief moment centre stage.
The primrose flowers that have been radiant bunches of yellow at the shadowy recesses have nearly all gone now but their new foliage is illuminating darkness with vivid green and will remain like that right through the Summer and justifying it place in the shadiest corners of my small space-challenged garden. They are like our own native aspidistras sitting their in their urns like lights in the darkness.
My climbing roses are also adding their leafy energy to this space contrasting well with the grey of my old flint walls and reminding me that, come Summer, the garden will be full of colour and rosy perfume.
I have just noticed the first crop of rose buds taunting me with anticipation.
Another set of Summer’s prophets are thrusting their way upwards out of the grow-bag that has been sitting out by the dustbin since I decided that the frost isn’t going to return round here. These little plants are heliotropes getting ready for planting around my small apple tree when the bulbs have all died down. They, like my roses, are not just beautiful to look at but they will fill this part of the garden with the heady vanilla perfume.
Another seasonal sign has been the increasing number of snail shells lying crushed on my Yorkshire flagstones this week. I have a new friend in the garden, who leaves up to eight snail shells out there each morning. It is the handiwork of a song thrush who uses the stones to break open the shells for a deliciously soggy breakfast of snail, the principal pest in my garden. Now though I just have to sweep up the shells – a pleasant form of washing-up that I’m happy to undertake.
Whilst I’m gardening I’m also entertained by the song thrush’ s glorious singing voice – nothing in these parts sounds more like Summer. Here is a recording so that you can share my daily pleasure – it also includes the cooing of a wood pigeon another cheery Summer sound in my Lewes garden.