I’ve always known first rush of blossom on the hedges as Blackthorn Winter but it’s been so late this year, this beautiful bank of white just out has been renamed Blackthorn Spring! It lifts my heart as we set off for the daily walk. The weather has been extremely perverse over the last few months, hasn’t it! So many plants have turned up at times of drought or sudden cold, and some of them may not survive. One I’ve got my fingers crossed for is the Myrtle bush, planted to celebrate a lovely Billingshurst lady who was just a delight to meet and chat to over the years.

But most of the bigger plants and trees are now getting back to life, so let’s aim to be positive, eh? Once in the little woodland we are knee deep in wild garlic, with small clumps of primroses, wild daffodils and a few violets adding tiny flashes of colour. The bluebells are up and waiting to flower which is great. Since we lost so many ash trees, we hope they will spread and flourish, especially in the new rather bare spaces down by the stream.

I’ve seen two butterflies that have overwintered here too, the yellow brimstone (above left) was in the garden around the veg beds – (some still to plant!) And the peacock (above right) was low in the hedge, looking slightly less glamorous than this picture, but it has survived the winter, so hooray – and we’re hoping our Boxing Day Red Admiral has too!

Good bird news from Bedham – with chiff chaffs , blackcaps, garden warblers and, best of all, the first report of a swallow on April 6th!

Here in the garden we have the usual suspects – all feeding like mad and this pic (left) shows how one pigeon has taken advantage of the baffle on a pole and regularly perches there to fill its beak, Cheeky devil! No wonder we’re never out of the RSPB…….

PS I have cleaned the baffle since!

Sue J