While we were away, the wind blew and blew, it rained and rained again, the garden became more and more bedraggled and the only thing that grew in the polytunnel were the weeds. Meteorologically, spring may have officially sprung on 1 March, or alternatively, astronomically on 20 March, but we are still enduring the equinox gales and shivering in a cold NW stiff breeze. So I am unable to beguile you with glorious images of spring flowers, but instead I offer you a tiny clump of dainty primroses and a more robust dandelion. Everyone loves primroses, but a dandelion? In March, we (and any small flying wee beastie rash enough to be about) are grateful for the acid flash of yellow from a humble dandelion, which is not a weed when it grows in the fields beyond the garden boundary.
The wild and garden plants may be resisting the procreation urge, but in the avian world the hormones are clearly raging. There are garrulous and rumbustious gangs of oystercatchers in the fields, exuberant and irrepressible lapwings indulging in synchronised, acrobatic flying displays, and even when it is too windy for aerial songflights, the skylarks will serenade us from the fence posts.
I hope that before the meteorological end of spring, 31 May, or more likely the astronomical equivalent of 21 June, that the weather may have improved and that gardening may have become less of an endurance exercise and more of a sunlit pleasure. In the meantime, it is time to put on the wellies and woolly hat, and continue the muck spreading to the accompaniment of larks ascending.