It's a long weekend and for the past 3 days the weather has been glorious: sunny and just the right temperature. So why am I sitting at my computer?
I did manage to get some gardening done, but have been driven indoors by hayfever. Despite taking tablets in the morning, by early afternoon my eyes have been so sore and watery that I can no longer see what I'm doing. I get hayfever for several months of the year but there are only a few days when it's this bad, and I haven't worked out what triggers it so I just find something else to do when it hits me.
Anyway, my garden has been appreciating the good weather with new growth everywhere. It's still a little early for most of my flowers but my hellebores are still blooming and I have a few others:
Above left to right and top to bottom: forsythia, chaenomeles japonica 'Geisha Girl' and 'Crimson & Gold', , viburnum tinus, pulmonaria (unknown variety), pulmonaria 'Opal', azalea, camellia, almond blossom
Buds and shoots on practically everything hold a promise of more to come and it's been lovely to see quite a few ladybirds and butterflies around, although we're expecting very low temperatures for the next few nights so I hope both plants and insects will survive the frosts. Some plants are only just recovering from the winds at the beginning of March. Marginally hardy container plants have been swathed in frost-fleece, while my citrus trees, perennial cuttings and vegetable seedlings are crowded into the (heated) greenhouse:
Above left to right: peacock butterfly, wind-damaged hypericum, the inside of my greenhouse, containers wrapped in frost fleece
My pond is slowly looking less bare. I cut a new bed beside its gravel edging which I've planted with hebes and spring flowers, gaps in the rocks have been filled with saxifrages and creeping phlox, and right at the end of March the first few pond plants went in. I'm hoping some frogs or toads will find their way to it over the next few months, I've even installed a special "frogilo" for them to rest in camouflaged with moss and carex: