Tuesday 21st April
I love blossom. It is of course flowers, mostly of fruiting trees. It is a sign, a flag to all the insects of course, but to us too – that Spring has arrived. And suddenly everywhere is dripping with blossom, branches of trees are bending over, brimming over with gorgeous blossom. The scent is heady; it actually makes my eyes sore as there is so much pollen around, but I don’t complain. And the colours are splendid. There is the brilliant white, the palest pink right through to shocking violent rose and my very favourite the soft lilac and that deep violet of wisteria. Some of the wisteria out here is just too splendid to believe, whole balconies are dripping with the stuff, it hangs in perfect bunches presaging the grapes of late October.
And it has all happened in a matter of a few short weeks. In late March it was still frosty and cold and suddenly, though the mornings are still chilly, we have gorgeous sunny afternoons and the trees are full of their Springtime blossom. And the greens of the new leaves pushing through are so vivid, a bright almost yellowish green, dazzling in its intensity. All too soon Summer will be here and those leaves will take on a darker hue, but for now they are all poking their fresh new leaves out into the sunshine. The French love to control nature and many of the trees are pollarded; cut back to last and the year’s before growth, strange knobbly shapes that look almost deformed, but each year the new branches spring out and we have a fresh outpouring of blossom and leaves.
Much as I love flowers, cultivated and perfect, it is the brilliant blaze of blossom that I love the best.