This is what we've been waiting for . . . Sunshine!!!!!
It's amazing how England and the English are transformed by a few days of perfect blue skies and sunshine. Everyone's so much more relaxed, we smile, work doesn't seem a chore if we can feel the warmth of the sun when we go outside. We have impromptu picnics; congregate at the waters edge - river, lake and sea; and everyone's inner gardener wants to plant things in the soil!
I love hand weeding at any time of year (weird, I know!) but this week it's a real chance to get up close to the plants without getting wet knees and muddy fingers. In the vegetable garden the Broad Beans are in flower, with metalic grey-green leaves and stunning flowers preceding the pods they have it all. 'Bunyards Exhibition' is an old favourite – the dramatic white and black flowers have a heady scent.
The 'Crimson Flowered' Broad Beans are show-stoppers – the depth of colour of the flowers is gorgeous!
You know summer is one its way when the cricket season has started and the Strawberry plants are in flower. We have two varieties, this one is 'Gariguette', the flowers are held above the leaves on long stalks – and they smell of marzipan!
'Cambridge Favourite' is a lower growing plant with darker blue-green leaves. The unscented flowers are in dense clusters below the leaves.
Temperatures have soared this week, the greenhouse thermometer has peaked at 41˚C. The Tomato plants spend the day outside, but I put them back in the greenhouse at night, just in case temperatures drop.
When the weather's like this everyone thinks gardening is fun!
Shadows and Reflections – Mathew Clayton
4 hours ago