It's been a long hard winter, and it seemed like it was never going to end. The first daffodil in our front garden finally bloomed on March 10th, several weeks later than usual, and it was so cold they kept going until about the 23rd of April, by which time the tulips were nearly ready. The cherry plums that normal bloom in early to mid-February were at least a month later this year.
But over the last 3 weeks or so, the daytime temperatures finally climbed above 10 degrees celsius, and we've also had several sunny days, and nature has fast-forwarded. The lilies of the valley were barely breaking through the ground a few weeks ago, but they've nearly got to full-size, although this year they weren't in bloom on May 1st, the flower buds aren't ready to open yet.
But the red camellia across the street suddenly put on a spectacular display, with all the flowers opening at once. The magnolias flowered, and all of the ornamental cherries. Today I noticed that the cherries with the large pompon-like pink flowers are in full bloom. Our Morello cherry is also in full bloom.
Our rhubarb, which I usually reckon is big enough to eat around Easter, is nearly there, and I'm planning to cook some of it over the weekend.
And so we have fast-forwarded to the first bank holiday of the summer. It's been obvious that we're marching towards summer since the days are much longer and the sunlight wakes me at 5 am,
but since it's been so cold and gray, and all the spring flowers were behind schedule, it was difficult not to feel that it was still winter.