I can’t believe it’s April already. Turning over the calendar this morning, seeing Easter in a few weeks, I almost did a double-take. The garden is about two weeks ahead in terms of flowering compared to this time last year – the daffs are almost over and about half of the tulips are already flowering. I had intended to pick some for my vase but I love seeing them where they are in the garden and decided instead to use more abundant blooms from plants that have spread around of their own accord: Muscari (grape hyacinth), Calendula (marigold) and Cerinthe major (honeywort). I added three ranunculus flowers snipped off the plants I bought on Saturday to add to the jewel-like colours. This colour combination is one that I’m drawn to time and time again – the warmth and richness of orange, red and blue/purple simply makes me happy.
It’s lovely to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and other bloggers for this weekly gathering. Do pop over there to see her vase (she does have tulips) and links to others from around the world.
In other news, we had a packed and thoroughly lovely day in London yesterday. David was racing in the Veterans’ Head of the River Race, on the Boat Race course on the Thames, so my daughter, the Spanish girls and I hitched a lift with him. We left the house early (which felt much earlier), and David dropped us off at Barnes station where we caught a train to Waterloo. First stop was the Royal Festival Hall for a large coffee for me and pastries all round. I used to hang out here often; it’s a great place to meet friends and there is always something going on – yesterday there was an orchestra practicing beautiful ballet music. From there we walked along the Southbank to Tate Modern, stopping frequently to admire street art, street performers or the view. I took them up to the 10th floor of the Tate to see the spectacular views, then we walked over the Millennium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral where the organist was practicing for a choral evensong and we were treated to another wall of wonderful sound. After that, we hopped in a black cab to Covent Garden so the girls could look at clothes shops (an experience that I could happily have missed!), then walked along the Strand, through Embankment Station, over Hungerford Bridge back to Waterloo and onto a train to Putney where we met a tired but happy post-race David.
The Spanish girls are lovely – friendly, polite, engaging – but everything (and I mean everything) has to be recorded on their phones and a few times I had to tell them to look around and not at their phones. Crossing roads, for example. The weirdest thing was an impromptu photoshoot at one of the old red phone boxes near St Paul’s. Both took a turn in the phone box with the door held open, on the phone, opening the door, posing this way and that, with no hint of self-consciousness. My daughter took it all in her stride but I found it bizarre. It’s all about the photo. I have never felt more middle-aged and old-fashioned!
Wishing you a good week.