Sunday 23rd March

Blossom everywhere, and the third sunny weekend in a row (almost a record in itself) even if it is quite chilly out.  Doesn’t the sight of all that blossom really lift the heart.  Daffodils are lovely, but are mostly planted nowadays, you rarely see a wild one, and the winter pansies and crocuses are pretty too; but the real harbinger of Spring is blossom.  Especially hawthorn, a pretty boring but very common bush in England, and for a few weeks it is a mass of creamy white blossom, the individual flowers pretty small and insignificant, but for a few short weeks whole expanses of hawthorn hedgerows are ablaze with blossom.

Apple and cherry blossom are out too, and the pinks and reds are stunning.  But the gem, the most amazing blossom of all is the magnolia.  A tree that is pretty boring all year round has a couple of weeks of splendour, as the buds swell and turn from green to pinky creamy white and then all together they open and hold those beautiful cups up to the sun.  Splendid.  And so early this year too.