Our weather here has been mixed, with wet, cold periods in April and early May, followed by some very hot weather in later May. Spring weather here is often unpredictable and, without keeping very close records, it is tricky to gauge whether overall it has been warmer or wetter 'than usual'. In fact, looking at the meteorological data that is emerging, it appears that over the past 5 years there have been periods of more extreme weather; there has been less rainfall year on year; and average temperatures have risen. Emerging from a sudden rainstorm or seeing the results of an early morning air-frost it does not always feel as if this is what has been happening .... but then one notices how the plants and wildlife have been responding this year: some of the most obvious plants, wisteria and roses, encouraged by the warmth, came into leaf and bud significantly early, only to be burnt by sudden bursts of cold temperatures; some of the bird population has been active, very early; and it seems that the water temperature in the pond has been higher than usual, as the water lilies have appeared some three weeks ahead of schedule:
And talking of shrubs and flowers, this year is proving quite magnificent for our roses and also for some of the wide variety of flowers we have rather randomly planted from seed - so, here's a little show around:
While the flowers are blooming, we are very behind-hand with our vegetable planting - some seeds have been sown, salad crops brought on, but we have rather an 'emergency job' to do - work for the next week or so!
We have an excuse for this tardiness - a long-planned visit in May to the UK to see children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. A lovely trip. This Blog is not the place for a 'family album' .... but one highlight of our time there was a very splendid hedgehog, making an appearance from her (as we believe to be the case) big hedge to come and gnash a substantial breakfast, watched by Remster the Cat. Of course, the hedgehog is called 'Hedgely'.
The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 report reveals hedgehogs have declined by between 30% – 75% across different areas of the countryside since 2000. And in France the hedgehog population is thought to have declined by at least two thirds in the last 20 years. So, across the two countries it is important that all action possible is taken to support the hedgehog. For our grandchildren/great grandchildren, it may just be the case that Hedgely starts to feature in some illustrated adventures ........