The sudden warm, dry weather earlier this month had pushed Spring headlong into an early Summer only to slam on the brakes again with temperatures dropping and rain, sleet and hail arriving this week. Finally it seems the frosts are past and even the beech trees are now in leaf. The downside to the crazy weather, (although we have little to complain about when you see the devastation wreaked abroad by cyclones, storms and flooding) is the lack of butterflies this Spring. I have only seen one comma, one brimstone, one peacock, one speckled wood and a couple of orange tips. No blues, no large or small whites (usually abundant in the garden) and no hummingbird hawk moths. No swifts overhead yet either and few fledglings.
The flowering bulbs are all now over apart form some allium siculum (Sicilian Honey Garlic) that has grown up through the love in-a-mist and rose. The camelia is shedding its flowers quickly and the blossom is almost gone, leaving a carpet of pink confetti on the ground. Hover flies and bedraggled bees are doing their best to keep on going but the chill damp weather is no fun for them. The yellow dead nettle is in full flower and so providing plenty of flowers for the bees that are braving the weather. Let's hope the Bank Holiday is dryer and warmer as it nearly half the year done.
Camellia japonica 'Angel'
Strawberries and oak leaves
Great tit sorting seeds on bird feeder
rose 'Warm Welcome' with blossom confetti behind
wallflowers and love-in-a-mist
unseasonal hailstorms this week
(click on photos for larger image and catch up with what is growing in the garden over on Flickr)