With this in mind, in the autumn I planted some 750 bulbs which, had we had a normal Yorkshire winter - plenty of frost and blizzard-type conditions and a really big dollop of snow in January, followed by very cold winds - would hopefully be raising their white heads come April 30th. White because all the bulbs I planted from scratch i.e. not those already in the ground from many previous years, were late flowering white hyacinths and white narcissi and early flowering white tulips.
Now normally at this time of year, I am excited in an entirely Fotherington-Thomas (Molesworth reference) 'hello clouds, hello sky' manner. But this year I have been out in the garden shouting 'Slow down! Don't come out yet!' Pointless, clearly.
So I am daily taking photographs of Mother Nature having her little joke on me and am sharing - more for myself than anyone else* - our journey through April to W DAY!
Buds are starting to pop on the avenue of horse chestnut trees and daffodils blooming at their bases. We planted the avenue for our daughters' weddings when the children were toddlers and so tiny they could barely walk! The first bluebells in the wood are just beginning to flower and in the garden, the white hyacinths are in full bloom with the white tulips threatening to follow them - all too soon!
Today it's sailing down - proper April showers. So here's the pond that has been establishing itself at the bottom of the field along with blossom on the cherry trees in the field that I wouldn't expect to see this early. "Will the blossom last?" asks my beloved. Only if we're wind-free, so we shall see. One big blast and the lot will be gone well before the day!
Another day and it's a lovely and despite a modest hangover (more to do with two nights on the bounce of getting to bed after one am than the amount of alcohol consumed) and there's no excuse not to be out there hoeing and edge-clipping whilst my beloved mows the lawn and all the bits of the field which are to be used for the marquee or car parking. Surely if we keep on top of things now, it will be less traumatic in the final week.
Well, as I suspected, I couldn't keep up a daily diary but the weather this week has, by and large, with a few hefty showers and some stunning rainbows which I failed to record, been beautiful. Which means, of course, garden-lovers, that we are now way ahead of schedule. My polite requests to the Almighty that he slows things down a bit have been met with... well, more bright sunny days. So all we can do at this end is hope that the stuff in the garden that is already out stays out and the stuff that we're waiting to bloom gets a wriggle on. It's most definitely out of my hands.
Other non-gardening related stuff is also continuing apace and there'll be more on that in future wedding blogs. What could possibly go wrong? One bridal gown, 3 bridesmaid dresses (at last!), 200+ jam jars, a pre-wedding party, where are the feathers for my hat? and a hen weekend. Oh, and the father of the bride is having a bit of a moment about his attire...