Spring, why are you being so Shy?

P7370535I am itching to get on with spring, but Mother Nature seems to have other ideas. I’m planning which vegetables we will grow this year, dreaming of picking tomatoes warm and ripe from the sun and peas and beans, peppers and aubergines. I’m quite desperate to get out into the flower borders too and put some new ideas into action –  alas, so far I’ve really been reduced to writing down my thoughts on paper. This typically involves lying in bed while I imagine the end result, which I then realise “won’t work” when I come downstairs in the cold light of dawn to stare out of the window through the sheets of rain; with my plans scuppered, I have to come up with other arrangements, and although I am no artist, I have most definitely now learnt to appreciate the benefits of taking photos and sketching diagrams on paper!

I have come to realise that the pair of palms we planted when we first moved here are in the wrong place, and the wide bed by the house needs a complete overhaul. Originally it held nothing but three hibiscus peeking out from behind a row of low-cut lime trees which formed some sort of straggling hedge. We took the latter out immediately as they blocked all light to the summer kitchen and then planted lavender, rosemary, lilies and the aforementioned palm trees. A few years in it is time to take stock, as things have grown so much and we need to make a few changes. I need to add some height at the back of the bed and I think the addition of some alliums and gladioli should do the trick. A tip I learnt with gladioli is to plant these 15 or so at a time at two-weekly intervals during spring; this ensures there will be flowers from mid-summer until mid-autumn. And I have to add some Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia); some people think it is rather common but that doesn’t put me off as I love it’s simplicity. Plus it wins a whole-hearted vote of approval from Roddy as his insects love it too. It grows like a weed here and it flowers very reliably. In fact I think it is a rather romantic plant that sways proudly in the breeze and flowers all summer long.

Back to my plans…..when the rain stops and the sun makes a valiant attempt at playing hide-and-seek for a few minutes I dash outside, dropping whatever work I am doing to view things from a different angle, hoping to sort something out in my mind before I get soaked once more and usually getting distracted by a few more spring flowers.

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The weather is the top of everyone’s conversation it seems right now, and if it isn’t where YOU are, then you are lucky –  here it’s all anyone can talk about. We’ve had what many are describing as the worst winter they have ever known, with so much cold and rain. The local asparagus growers are struggling in particular as the inclement weather means the crop this year will be greatly diminished.

Perhaps this means we are in for a wonderful long summer (I murmur to myself as I potter amongst the primroses); I’m certainly clinging to the thought. The chickens have  spent far too much time huddling under trees, pecking at rotting leaves. But when the sun comes out though they fluff up contentedly and they cannot be missed.

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“Move over, it’s my turn!” …… Amy – our little white Pekin Bantam – may be small but she is definitely in charge!

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Still, the mercury is rising, and I am fairly sure that here, close to the coast, the risk of any more frosts has passed; but although it’s no longer cold we don’t seem to have the usual hours of sunshine. But hey, let’s be optimistic, ‘April showers bring forth May flowers’.P7370439

Weeds are emerging and if weeds are growing then so too is everything else.

P7370411The roadsides are strewn with wild flowers and dandelions seem to outnumber all the rest. In French they are called pissenlit, which translates to ‘piss in bed’;  this literal translation of the name actually comes from the fact that the plant is an ancient herbal diuretic, but it still does not stop all French children giggling at this. They say that if you pick one and hold it, you will piss en lit! They tend to get picked and thrown around the playground with no one wanting to be caught holding one!

Fortunately, there are no dandelions in the garden, and I was finally able to mow once again last Monday, after which I scarified the lawn – thick with moss from the damp conditions. Afterwards I scattered new grass-seed in the bare patches, and thought that at least I won’t have to worry about it drying out!

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And in case we needed reminding that we are already into the fourth month of the year, we’ve already seen our first hoopoe and yesterday afternoon we heard a cuckoo calling for hours, announcing its arrival back from Africa for the spring season.

Wallflowers and ferns grow like weeds everywhere out of cracks in walls, beside houses, in gutters, wherever their seeds have fallen in a scrap of soil. In case you are wondering the ‘AV’ sign below stands for ‘À Vendre‘; this super cute little cottage is actually bigger than it looks and is in a nearby village, I’m trying to find an excuse to go and have a look around!

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Back on home soil, our Spanish bluebells are out in force

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the cherry blossom is magnificent

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and the horse chestnut and hazel are coming into leaf. The euphorbia and kerria are flowering

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and yet it still feels a little more like winter than spring. I’ve swapped my boots for shoes, more out of a desire for change than necessity, but I haven’t been quite brave enough to put my scarves away just yet.

Yesterday was a day of intermittent heavy showers and high winds. Driving along I felt as if I had been taken back in time to January or February.

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I very much appreciated the brave attempt of this magnolia to cheer us all up.P7370529

One minute all was grey with clouds hurrying past in a frantic rush overhead, changing the sky to an ominous colour with the imminent threat of a downpour, P7370550

and the next I turned to look eastwards and was greeted by the clearest blue. It was quite bizarre, I had not moved more than a foot.P7370554

Still under blue skies for a few minutes longer I had time to admire the Gothic church in St Just de Luzac, a small village with a population of around 1500 inhabitants. The church was built in the 15th century on the site of a former church constructed in the 11th century and it has some of the thickest walls of any church in our region.P7370557

The stonework around the window in the house opposite also dates from around the 15th century and never ceases to fascinate me.P7370546

Everywhere I turned in St Just flowers were making a valiant attempt to defy the weather.P7370541P7370559P7370542P7370549

As I walked the dogs in our own village later yesterday evening, I even spotted the first iris of the season in bloom.P7370580

Then I found a patch of grass with some daisies crying out for children to sit and make chains.P7370570

And then this morning we awoke to this

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The meteo says brilliant sunshine all day with temperatures maybe reaching 20C – dare I say ‘it looks good’, will that jinx it? I pray it won’t. I want to get out there, I want to feel the soil on my bare hands and under my nails, I want to fully welcome Spring!

118 thoughts on “Spring, why are you being so Shy?

  • You are way ahead of us, we had snow on Monday, not that it is unheard of, I’ve known snow a few times in early April.

    • I know! I remember watching the Grand National with snow in April a few years ago. Still, it simply has to get warmer for you soon. Everything is late here but let’s hope we all have a great summer! xx

  • It’s been a long and wet winter here as well. And we are supposed to have snow flurries here this weekend. UGGGG!!! Yesterday – we were able to get out and enjoy the sun but it was still very cold. Here’s to warmer temperatures and sunny days.

    Oh and I wish we had real shutters here. I always enjoy your pictures.

    • I agree, here’s to much warmer days and eating outdoors. Today is actually lovely here, laundry flapping on the line and windows open, let’s hope it lasts. In the meantime I will keep my fingers crossed for you and some warmer weather too. xx

      • It’s a warm and sunny 32 degrees Fahrenheit right now. And reports say it’ll be 50 F this evening. I hope to run around the lake tonight – tomorrow the wetness returns. But when spring finally arrives – it is sure to be very green.

        • Whoa that is cold, when spring finally does arrive though it will feel like heaven I am sure, just to feel the warmth on our skin and to rid ourselves of some of the layers! Enjoy your run, fingers crossed the rain holds off for you. xx

    • Never thought of it like that, but rather like it. I have never worried about dirt under my nails or getting grubby hands, I love feeling the soil, and now it is finally starting to warm up I am getting very impatient. xx

    • Alice, this ‘must’ win the prize of the day for the best thought…. Could you create one like this for the weeds and especially for the pissenlits (dandelions – Lion’s tooth!) which regularly drive me insane? 🙂 Thanks in advance!

  • If April showers bring May flowers then I wonder what April snow brings. My American mid-west garden still looks like late winter. We will have a sunny and fairly warm day today, but snow and sleet is waiting in the wings for tomorrow. I am thankful to see your photos of flowers in bloom…it gives me hope!

    • Hmmm, I shall ponder that one, perhaps April snow brings forth an August heatwave! I am sure you are anxious for spring but just think how fabulous it will be when it arrives. Today we finally have laundry flapping on the line, the windows open and some real warmth to the sun, and oh it feels good. Your’s will too and I am sure very soon, hang in there! xx

  • We had snow yesterday and yesterday was 4 weeks till we travel and a strike day of the French trains but don’t you worry we will get there by hook or by crook.. Looking forward to it being a bit warmer and eating the cherries. Lovely post as always.

    • Oh no! Let me know if I can help with arrangements. Hopefully it will warm up with you, what strange weather. We are at least two or three weeks behind last year but today is lovely and really warm, a lunch outside sort of day, oh and I forgot to tell you, we now have a Sunday market in the village every weekend. Great fun to walk up to on a Sunday morning with chicken, oysters, vegetables etc. xx

  • I am always amazed by all the old buildings in Europe. Over here everyone up North is complaining about the weather. Two more snow storms are coming. Things have warmed up in the South and all the spring blooming shrubs are about finished and the summer plants have started to bloom. Even though we are getting an Arctic cold front this weekend the temperatures are only getting near 50f (10c), but quickly warming up. The cool weather does allows me to work outside longer.

    • The weather is strange everywhere, we had a fabulous day today and tomorrow we are looking at around 21C, cannot complain at that and endless sunshine and then it drops dramatically again and rain on and off all weekend! I think I need to reorganise everything so I can get outside all day tomorrow in the garden. The weekend looks like it will be a time for indoor jobs. I hope your snow storms pass quickly without causing too much disruption. xx

  • Lovely photos and I especially liked the primrose stoney path one – its given me an idea. I want to seed a new bed with wild flowers but its covered with all our chicken pen building materials at the moment – so in a minute donning eight jumpers to be brave in the wind and rain – yes where is Spring!! I have just acquired chickens and we have a coop and pen and only about half an acre of garden, but would like them to have more freedom to roam. Do you find they tear up the garden, or really they re not a problem at all. I am getting two geese to share the space, as we have quite a bit of grass. I cant really get on with garden till my barn finished – I am lacking a home and in these chilly days, my little temporary house isn’t cosy. Thankful for a place but really after three years, its starting to make us a little weary. The sunshine and getting outside will compensate – but as you say – why is it shy and hiding from us?

    • Hopefully you were able to get outside today, it was actually lovely here, but our garden is very sheltered, as soon as one got out in the open, walking the dogs, the wind still had that bite to it which I don’t like much after a long winter! Tomorrow however is meant to be about 21 before another weekend of rain! Love the idea of the wild flower bed, make sure you cover the seeds or the chickens will eat them all long before they have a chance to germinate! We don’t find the chickens cause any trouble at all, they used to be free range all over the garden, they caused little damage, although we do have predominantly pekin bantams which are a small breed, I think some of the larger breeds might be a little more disruptive. The only thing we found a touch annoying was when the children walked in chicken poo, far too frequently! Now they have their own garden which seems to work better for everyone. I hope you manage to finish the barn soon, it does sound so wonderful, but I know how hard it can be living with renovations, been there and done that! xx

  • Bonjour from a wet and cool Paris! I arrived Easter Sunday, and very happy to find a little courtyard garden in front of my tiny rental studio. There’s a nip in the air still, and trees not blooming yet. Good luck with your garden plans, it already looking lovely. Beautiful photos as ever. xxx

    • So happy you are comfortably installed in Paris, to have a small courtyard garden as well is just the icing on the cake, lucky you. Hopefully you will now get some lovely weather to enjoy it. Tomorrow is meant to be gorgeous and almost hot here, around 21C before another cool and wet weekend. I am sure the wonderful sights and sounds of Paris and the buzz of the city will more than make up for the weather. Enjoy every second of it. xx

  • Here in Spain, today we are expecting 21° for the first time this year but next week we are back down to a maximum of 7°. We had one daffodil this year, a few jonquils, a goodly display of scillas and now, all of a sudden, the wisteria is just coming into flower. It looks as though we will have a rather truncated Spring. The almond trees have been flowering for about a month yet the cherry trees are only just starting to bloom – they will have to get a move on since it is the cherry festival in just 11 weeks and Ferrero in Italy will be looking to receive our exports for their Mon Chéri chocolates. All too soon, I expect that She Who Must Be Obeyed will be complaining that it is too, too hot, whereas for a few weeks, I shall be glad that the cold is finally leaving my old bones to a bit of comfort.

    • What strange weather! Our wisteria buds are about an inch long now and way ahead of any slightly further inland. Tomorrow it is meant to be 21C and then a wet and cool weekend around 14C, but not as low as 7C! Last week I was in northern Portugal with one of our daughter’s for a few days, we had several days around 20, it was fabulous, everything was in bloom and there were oranges and lemons everywhere, then there was a sharp frost and ice on the car windscreen. Followed by another warm day and then a plummet and rain and only 12C. Such a strange spring! Our cherry trees are all in full blossom here, but other things seem to be a couple of weeks late. Personally I’m with you and I long for some hot weather, our typical short mild winter has been quite the opposite this year and most unwelcome! xx

  • The weather has been strange in Connecticut, too. Yesterday my son’s sailing team had a regatta postponed to today. It was horribly foggy all morning and into the early afternoon but the National Weather Service issued gale warnings for the afternoon.

    • I think it has been most strange everywhere, we had really high winds yesterday along with the downpours, today the wind was still cold but the sun shone and tomorrow is meant to be hot and still! Are the snow storms forecast for the east coast likely to affect you this weekend? Hope your son’s regatta went well today and that he had a good sail with enough wind. xx

  • The weather this year is bizarre everywhere it seems. Today it is pouring and I have a planned day with a friend to go to a nursery a ferry ride away. There won’t be a lot of other people, so we will have the staff to our selves to answer all of our questions. Now if some of this rain would fall in July. We usually don’t get any rain during the summer months.

    Ali xxx

    • It is too bizarre for words, everywhere is strange, we had a lovely day today and tomorrow is meant to be 21C before another weekend of rain! I shall rearrange everything and get out in the garden for as many hours as I possibly can and make the most of it. Hope you have a great trip to the nursery and get what you need. I have found a plant sale about 15 minutes away this weekend, should be fun, even if it is raining, it’s time to start buying and planning! xx

  • Gladioli or Hollihocks, I’ve been torturing myself with this decision for months now. I was really disappointed to find that Hollihocks only flower the following year after planting. I haven’t seen any in the garden centres potted up yet for this years blooms.
    You look like you’ve got hundreds of irises. That will look superb, are they all the same colour.
    I started guiding Giverny again last week, bare except for Narcissi and pansies. We aren’t alone!!! But I’m excited to see how quickly it changes and if I can emulate it in a minor way! Enjoy your sunny moments outdoors, and happy gardening between the showers.
    We have tons of moss, do you rake yours back really hard, I’m scared of the huge patches of barecearth that result, so any tips would be welcome, including how you keep the birds off the grass seed.
    Xxx

    • I love hollyhocks and even though you have to wait a year they would certainly be my choice, because once you have some they will self seed and keep going on and on. Plus they come in so many colours and last for weeks on end. We have lots and lots or iris in all different colours but they are at least a month away from flowering in our garden, everything is late this year! Funny you should mention moss, we have absolutely masses this year too, because it has been such a wet winter and I was out for two hours this evening with a metal rake literally raking it all up, down to the bare earth underneath. I have already seeded lots of other parts of the lawn, but this is the last job. Yes the birds take their fair share, but my plan is always to scatter the grass seed just before it rains so that hopefully it soaks in a little and the birds are slightly put off. Not too difficult to find such a day this year! After you rake up the moss and before the new grass seeds it all looks a bit dismal for a couple of weeks but it is worth it I promise. What fun to be paid for showing people around Giverny, that must be the perfect job! I can imagine it must be really inspiring, I always come away with so many ideas after I visit any fabulous formal gardens, but putting them all in practice is another matter! xx

      • I think I’m going to have to be brave about the moss in that case, perhaps I’ll do a section at a time rather than having endless bare patches. We’ve had a sunny day today and it’s been gorgeous to get out. Planted out lots of crocosmia today… and now I’m all anticipation! Enjoy the weekend!

        • Be brave! this evening I scattered loads of grass seed knowing that it is going to rain tomorrow. I gave everyone strict instructions not to walk on any of the bare patches of the lawn and to stick to the thick grass areas only. I don’t know which is more of a threat to the seed, the children or the birds!! Fabulous here today too, 22, we actually wore shorts, but the weekend weather does not look good, sigh. Hope you have a lovely weekend rain or shine!! xx

  • Spring seems to be shy in many parts of the world this year. Our weather is 74 one day, 45 the next. Some signs of spring but still a little too cold for me. I love hear ing the plans for your garden and am looking forward to seeing your progress. Have a wonderful day.

    • Thanks so much Elizabeth, I am really motivated to get a few new things done this year. The children are on two weeks spring break starting tomorrow and they are rally keen to help and do more in the garden, I am all for that, so hopefully the weather will be accommodating and we can get lots achieved and make it all fun.xx

  • so beautiful. our spring is hiding from us. it is supposed to snow tomorrow. I long for planting and the warmth of the sun beating down upon us. But I guess we will have to wait a bit longer

    • We are all in the same boat. When we get treated to a day of warmth it disappears again a day or two later, I wish it would settle down and be here to stay. I hope your snow passes quickly and that it is not too disruptive. xx

        • That is positive at least. This evening the children played frisbee in the garden for what seemed like hours, it was so fabulous to see everyone outside in short sleeves and everywhere looks so fresh and bursting forth with life, all the things that I just love about spring. If only the weekend forecast didn’t look so miserable once more!!

          • Totally agree, we have such a great day forecast for tomorrow and then the rain descends once more and the temperatures drops. Now all we can hope for is that the weather men have got it wrong!

  • Oh I can only dream of Spring! Here in Alberta, Canada we are enduring a very long Winter indeed. We had a snow storm over Easter, and are meant to get another hit this weekend before they promise us that temperatures will slowly rise.

    Enjoying seeing all the early Spring blooms!

    • It seems to be the same story in so many places, they had snow in the UK on Easter Monday as well. I hope the weather this weekend isn’t too bad and that it passes quickly. Hopefully then spring can get underway and you can get outdoors and enjoy some warmer weather xx

      • Yes, warmer weather seems to be around the corner, so here is hoping! We did see the news that most of Europe had some winter weather over the last month, so hopefully this has now passed for good!

        • It has been a really strange spring so far, cold and wet and windy. But today we had a lovely warm day, might even call it hot, we wore shorts! But then tomorrow back to rain and chilly! Oh well, I have a plant sale to visit and a brocante on Sunday, rain or shine it will still be fun. Have a lovely weekend xx

  • Hi Susan, dandelions used to be called ‘piss in the bed’ in England before the flower was renamed to spare our blushes. Shakespeare called them that – a useless fact I remember from an open bus tour around Stratford-upon-Avon! Suzi x

    • I did actually know that, but thank you for reminding me. I hadn’t really thought about the name for quite a while until our youngest daughter gave me a dandelion the other day, she gently handed it to me, and then promptly laughed as I held it! It keeps french children laughing for ages! xx

  • Loving the chickens.. This morning they made me laughlaugh. When I let them out this morning, of they went followed my GS Amber down to the olive grove. They are so animated and look like the road runner, especially with the cockeral chasing them. Sun was out yesterday but a bit windy today. An abundance of different flowers out at the moment here, the colours are so amazung, the brilliance of yellows,pinks and reds . I adore this time of year..a new spring, new life and a new start for many.
    I love reading your blog and all the other comments by your friends and readers.
    Xxx

    • Thanks so much Susan, I love watching our chickens, it’s amazing, they are real time wasters! Where are you, I am trying to work it out, but it sounds lovely with olive groves and plenty of spring flowers. I love this time of year too, it is a time of so much promise, everywhere one goes there is new life emerging, even if the weather doesn’t always play ball! xx

  • OH ME TOO!
    WE are forecasted for rain tonight through the weekend!Which will be SO GOOD FOR THE JARDIN BUT!!!!!!!!!
    I guess I should just COOK and write MORE BLOG POSTS when it does this…………..
    What a BEAUTIFUL POST!
    DID you plant all those IRIS?
    You Live in a BEAUTIFUL SPOT!
    RAIN or SUN………….it SHINES!!!!!!
    XX

    • Well you and me both are forecast rain all weekend, we shall both be cooking, sounds like a great plan. Although I have to admit I am off to a plant sale tomorrow and a brocante sunday morning and tennis in between, rain or shine these things have to be done!!! The iris were here when we bought the house and they just keep multiplying now. However, when we bought the house they were struggling as the hazel hedge on the south side was so high it was blocking out all of the light, having cut that right back everything is loving the sun and we are being hugely rewarded for our efforts! Enjoy your weekend xxx

    • It’s strange isn’t it. Today we had the most fantastic day, it was 22C/ 73F and just fabulous, I put everything on hold and spent the entire afternoon in the garden! But now we have a weekend of rain forecast and a huge drop in temperatures once more! Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  • Your primroses are so beautiful. Yes, the signs of spring are all over, but it’s still a bit cold here too, with the occasional warm day pushing through. But we’re looking for snow on Saturday. Well, it can’t be here long or stick this late in the year.

    • Snow, wow, I heard of several people who have snow forecast, is that normal at this time of year? We had a fabulously warm day today, we were all in shorts but then it is meant to be cool and wet all weekend, spring just cannot make up its mind. Anyway, rain or shine, I hope you have a lovely weekend xx

        • I cannot tell you how good today felt, to really feel warm and to spend more than 6 hours in the garden was a real treat, my hands are sore and rough this evening but I really don’t care, it was so good to tidy everything up, move a couple of perennials around and do some weeding. Can’t wait for some prolonged decent weather now!

          • Precisely that here, today we have had rain all day and down to 12C, complete contrast to yesterday. This time last year all the leaves were in leaf and everything was about three weeks ahead of this year. But it will happen, sooner or later the weather has to settle down and we have to have a wonderful long spring spell of decent weather surely? xx

          • Let’s hope. We have leaves on things and rhododendron and magnolia blossoms and it was spitting snow today and felt like February. But it will change, even if looking back we have a long cold spring!

          • It will change of course, but it just seems to have been such a long winter that I think we were all ready, on both sides of the pond, for some decent spring weather and it has yet to arrive in earnest! The odd day, just to tease us, seems to be what we have to accept for now. But things are starting to look green and so for now I will content myself with that! Have a lovely week xx

  • You know, it somewhat mixes me up to read the comments on a blog like yours naturally, there are none to which I can logically reply to begin with!! I have looked and childishly decided that I would just love to buy the ‘a vendre’ cottage and wend my way all over the place from a central vision I can actually see . . . thank you for being delightfully different again , , ,

    • Ok, so your first sentence confuses me! I read it to Roddy but he was confused as well, I think you are referring to the fact that you are in autumn and we are in spring??? But I am not sure, please help me out! I would love to buy the cottage too, it looks quite delightful down the tiniest little road. The village has everything, a boulangerie, butcher and a small restaurant and is just 10 minutes to the coast. Perhaps I shall knock on the door and find out more details, just to add some fuel to my dreams! xx

  • I am not much of a gardener but love to see nature awaken in spring. It’s reassuring to see that the pattern is the same even much further south. Yesterday really felt like the first day of spring! BTW, just learned the that pretty yellow blooms I see in the grass around here are wild primrose — is that what you show growing wild along the path?

    • Today was absolutely fabulous here, 22C and we were all in shorts, I put everything to one side and spent the entire afternoon in the garden, felt fabulous to get to grips with everything once more. The primroses we have here are not the wild ones, they are the cultivated hybrids one can buy, they have just spread and spread and decided that the old cobble path and the lawn are fair play too! Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  • What a treasure of a post — such gorgeous photos! And such a lovely description of the goings-on in your garden (and with your chickens too). It does seem that spring is slow in coming all around the globe this year. But if it’s of any consolation, at least in your corner of the world it’s not snowing. Can’t say we’re so lucky here in Minnesota! Anyway, thank you very much for sharing a bit of your world, and for whisking me away for a few moments into your oasis of calm and color.

    • Ok, I feel your chilly weather and commiserate with you! We have had enough of the cold, today was our first really warm day, around 74F and just fabulous, our first time in shorts. But spring really cannot make up its mind, tomorrow and Sunday we have rain and much cooler weather forecast once more, sigh. Hope you have a lovely weekend, stay warm and hope spring arrives soon for you. xx

      • Just *imagining* 74F and shorts warms my heart! Like you, I’m hoping that after one more cold weekend spring will finally be here to stay. Or summer! Summer would be OK, too. 🙂

        • It was fabulous I can tell you, white legs and all! Just felt a good dose of Vitamin D was definitely needed and it was great to feel really warm. Hopefully soon it will settle down and be like this all the time rather than just one snatched day!

  • Susan, every time I read your blog post I feel like I’ve gone on a sweet vacation! The iris are blooming here in Phoenix, Arizona, but it’s our beautiful time of year. Sunny days, cooler nights and no rain…. We’ve heard about all the unusual weather around the globe, but have had the opposite here. Sending spring wishes to you and your family.

    • I didn’t realise you had iris in Arizona, they are one of my favourite spring flowers, and I cannot wait for ours to be in flower, but we have to wait at least another month there are no blooms at all at the moment. Enjoy your wonderful spring like weather, it sounds as if it is just perfect, not too hot and the type of weather you can really get outdoors in and enjoy. Have a lovely weekend xx

    • I know just how you feel. Today we had a fabulous day, really warm, in fact we were wearing shorts, but tomorrow it is meant to be wet and cool once more, I just spring would make up her mind and settle down to stay! Have a great weekend xx

  • So pretty! We just had more snow showers here today so I still think we’ve got some time before we see much blooming. It really does feel like the winter that will never end but I too keep thinking maybe we’ll have a nice long warm sunny summer.

    • Don’t worry I know just how you feel. After yesterday which felt like summer we were plunged back into rain and cold today. I happened to see a photo from this time last year, all the trees were in leaf, there were poppies flowering in the bed by the house, the wisteria was in bloom. This year none of those are out, the difference is incredible. But like you, I tell myself we will be rewarded with a fabulous long summer! Fingers crossed! xx

    • I think so many people have the same problem, fortunately we don’t have a water problem as such here, the soil is very free draining and so although it is saturated it looks ok. However, the lawn is full of moss from the damp and the cold weather has held up the spring foliage, but it will all happen in good time xx

  • Gorgeous captures of a beautiful country! You captures the architecture and landscape so beautifully!! We were in France in Spring and experienced the golden canola fields!!
    I just linked up with the same travel link party as you. It’s how I found you!

    • Hi Nancy, I am so glad you found me and that I found you. Everywhere we go at the moment we are surrounded by fields of yellow, they look wonderful and a sure sign it is spring even if the weather doesn’t want to play ball! Hope to chat with you more in the future and in the meantime have a lovely week xx

  • Spring has sprung, no matter which way you look at it, Susan. There may be some snow and rain but there is no going back once the shorts have been taken out of hibernation. I have yet to do the same, and may not do so for a while, but Mrs C has taken to a skirt a couple of days ago and we have had our first Mr Whippy truck back at the car park so we’re settling into the new season slowly. I hope your grass comes back okay – that is something I do not have to worry about too much!

    • You are quite right of course, there is no going back. The leaves here are getting more obvious each day, everywhere we drive the route is a little greener all the time, spring marches on, maybe slower than last year but it’s still happening, I just wish we could see a little bit more of the sun and then the children could enjoy a few more ice creams! xx

  • How strange; I did wonder why I hadn’t heard back from you and now realise (because of other complaints about omissions and AWOLS on other blogger’s sites) that my comment has also taken off to the unknown all, or so it seems, as I can’t find anyhting on this post. And you know that I always comment….! Or has WP decided that, since I don’t own my own blog, it’s no longer posting my comments??? 😉 Funnily enough, I DID get an ‘invite’ to upgrade my blog last week only, which I thought highly bizarre as I don’t have one in the first place.

    I’m not trying to repeate what I had written before but one fact stayed with me. I was so intensely ‘jealous’ that you could hang your washing out that – when the sun was shining last week, I brought the ‘Stewi’ (brand of my Swiss dryer system which is so brilliant that I was considering asking to represent the brand in France) up from its winter place in the basement and with the strong wind we had, was able to hang out and dry not one but two loads of washing and put it all back to its righteous place in the evening. A freshly laundred bed again after months of having missed the fresh air and light ‘perfume’ of air-dried linens. Oh the joy. I honestly wouldn’t have thought it was possible as the sun was shining but not with great force.
    So thank you for that.

    • Kiki, there seemed to be some sort of glitch last week and I am not sure what it was. Izzi said that the link from facebook didn’t work, and yet when we all tried it out it worked perfectly. Some things it seems are just beyond our control! I love that fresh air laundry smell, far too rare here too I am afraid. But on Friday it was so warm, 22 or 23C that I too did two loads, clothes, then sheets and then a third one, a quick sports wash. To get into bed that evening, was just as you describe, fabulous, nothing can beat perfectly line dried linen. I slept like a log! We havent had any rain for two days but it’s been somewhat grey, but I believe the weekend looks good at the moment, who knows, I have given up looking and turned my attention to the summer kitchen makeover I am undertaking instead!! Children on holiday this next two weeks so precious little time and away tomorrow, but I will email at length on Wednesday xxx

  • Oh yes, I too am longing for Spring warmth to arrive so that I can properly get going in the garden! I am so behind with everything. It seems such a long, wet, windy winter and I am still wearing my boots! And the wind and cold make my eyes stream – an age related thing I’m told! Which is no fun when gardening. We’ve had the odd glimpse of sunshine, but not for long. Your flowers look very pretty, especially the primroses in the path. They almost look at odds with the sky above, as if they are early rather than the blue sky late! Still, I’m hoping, like you, that it means we will have a lovely summer and of course I’m also hoping that in the Charente it begins in earnest at the end of May!!!

    • I am sure it will be in full summer mode here by May! We have been relatively warm, just not the usual sunshine hours, at least the rain has held off for a few days, but the land is waterlogged, everything is, as you say, so late, I think our garden is about three weeks behind last year. Fingers crossed for a decent end to the spring. Hope your chickens are not too fed up! xx

  • Spring is fickle and winter was hideous this year, surely it means we wi have a good summer and a long one. I think we all want that.

  • I love your chickens, do they eat out of your hand? They seem so friendly and so close or is this on zoom? I would love to have the space to keep chickens and the eggs would be a big bonus too.

    • Thanks! If we wait patiently some of them will eat from our hands yes, the older ones who have been around us longer. They are friendly and they don’t worry when we walk around amongst them so no need to use a zoom lens which is good. When we go in with them they follow us everywhere, they really are the most wonderful creatures just to stand and observe, we have all been very surprised by how much we enjoy watching their antics! xx

      • Good morning Susan,

        I just came back from letting the chickens out. Went into the garden, I have flowers on some of my tomato plants and on my clementine tree, my plumbago has a multitude of flowers on.
        It won’t be long for you guys soon. All worth waiting for!
        xxx

        • Oh what fun, I can imagine how excited you were. We haven’t even planted our tomatoes out yet, but just a couple of weeks and we too will be excited for all sorts of things, patience is all that is required, not my strongest point though! xx

  • Hi Susan, lovely photos as always. I know you are impatient for spring to arrive, likewise we are impatient for autumn which is also being ‘shy’. we too want to tackle the garden but it has been very hot. This past few days it has been slightly cooler in the morning so some work has been achieved. We are desperate for rain so maybe we could do a swap? Hope you all enjoy your spring and summer and that the vegetable garden is as productive as ever.

    • If only we could swap, would gladly send you some of our rain! Hopefully it will cool down for you soon, I know how impossible it is to get outside or really get anything done in that sort of heat. Here we are quite warm now, just lacking the sunshine, but next week it is meant to be here in earnest, I just hope they’ve got it right! xx

  • Oh, so close! I hope the sunshine of Spring comes fully soon! So much promise is waiting to be released. I look forward to your garden blooms and bounty! Xoxxo

    • I am so looking forward to planting out the vegetable garden and so many things, and cutting flowers for the house from the garden. However, for you I know it means heat and humidity, so I hope you don’t have a summer that is too hot and I hope we have a decent one with enough heat! xx

  • It seems like everyone is waiting for spring this year! It has been freezing here in NJ but it’s actually supposed to finally get warm on Friday! I will believe it when I feel it! Even though your weather is not ideal, your photos are beautiful and you are inspiring us all! Thanks for linking up to Take Me Away again this month!
    Shelley

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