Braving the Northern weather - Tales from the river bank

Finally!  spring at the Mill.
'April,' wrote TS Eliot, 'is the cruelest month.'  And it's certainly been that up in the Lake District.  But Eliot can't have been much of a gardener because he adds 'breeding Lilacs out of the dead land', and you've got to be joking if you can get Lilac to bloom in April here!  Mine doesn't even have a leaf on it (and it's May tomorrow) and my early Magnolia has only just opened its first buds.  My garden still resembles the Waste Land.

a few buds opening today on the magnolia stellata
It has snowed (the fells are still white) enough to build a snowman;  it has hailed globs of ice the size of marbles and it has frozen and thawed and rained and blown in a way that would do February proud.
Caldbeck Fells, photo by my lovely aunt Anne Campbell

But today, with great irony, the weather turned and the sun was warm enough to brave the garden in a T-shirt.
The sun on the weir
And the tulips - planted before the floods and surviving being underwater - are out!

Tomorrow it's apparently to be winter again - but then there's a Bank Holiday on Monday!  Have a good weekend everyone.


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