The end of March. The clocks have gone forward Surely, surely it must be spring.
"March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." I have always loved that saying but this year and last it has not proved true. Last year here in North Wales March went out with the cold savagery of a snow tiger. We had ten foot high snow drifts and many farmers lost sheep and lambs in staggering numbers to the devastating spring snowstorms which come only once in a generation. This year the lamblike part of March was in the first part of the month with sunshine, warm temperatures and gentle breezes which made the daffodils open in a great yellow rush down the hill under the fruit trees.
I love these little Tenby daffodils, narcissus obvallaris, and they are naturalising busily now. They are small in scale with a jaunty, upright stance, perhaps less graceful than the pseudonarcissus which were Wordworth's daffodils but gloriously happy somehow.
These are pseudonarcissus with February Gold behind them. There are plenty more to come which are not yet in flower: creamy white Thalia, scented Sweetness and the Pheasant's Eye, narcissus poeticus. I try to have daffodils in flower for about three months, from late February through March and April and into early May.
And now March is ending with a warm breeze and hazy sunshine.
The damson tree is in flower as is the blackthorn in the mixed hedge we planted.
In the side garden the tiny little tulip greigii which I love are popping up all over the place and the pulmonaria is humming with bees.
I am sure there were bees on this when I took the photo! Oh well.
We have had our older son and daughter in law staying for the weekend. I was surprised by a lovely card and present for Mother's Day. We are not great ones for celebrating special days in our family. Ian and I never buy each other anything for Valentine's Day. Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day generally pass unnoticed. I rarely sent a card to my mother and rarely receive them from my children and step children. We can even forget birthdays without anybody minding which must seem unutterably odd to those who notice and celebrate and mind. It is just our way. My mother knew I loved her and I know my children and stepchildren love me but it was unexpectedly lovely to have a card and thoughtful presents from my stepson and one from my daughter. I was deeply touched and for a moment my throat was thick with tears. It takes me like this at the moment. When Ian and I were walking the other day we passed a florist's crammed with flowers for Mothers' Day. It must have been the scent. Supermarkets have been full of things for Mothers' Day and that has left me quite unmoved but the cool damp scent of narcissus caught me unawares and the loss of my mother welled up in a second and turned my insides to water.
Tomorrow older daughter and her four year old son are coming to stay for a few days. There will be more noise and laughter and young energy rushing around the house and meals to be shared with younger daughter and her fiance. My concern for my father walks with me and haunts my nights but here we are: the sun shines, the daffodils blow, life goes on. Thank heavens for family and food and springtime, the love you give and the love you receive.
There are tadpoles in the pond. Joseph will like that.