Garden Views-04-April 2016

April 2016 will be remembered by me for two reasons. An extremely unseasonably late and cold month, and one in which I was physically exhausted by its end, thanks to a fair bit of hedging and chainsaw work delayed by the very wet winter until now, and unforeseen events.SDIM6417 (2)

After the very mild wet winter, this seemed a real sting to its tail, but as always, there were advantages – many early daffodils lasted nearly 8 weeks from mid February, and the other bonus was the impressionistic image potential of huge snowflakes falling on flowers which aren’t normally graced by their presence.S1020033 (2)S1020013 (2)S1020018 (2)S1020011 (2)S1000025 (3)S1000015 (2)S1020026 (2)S1000004 (2)There were frequent lovely cloudscapes, and light effects too, in one of my favourite gardening months, whatever the temperatures are.S1020080 (2)S1020134 (2)S1020050 (2)S1000002S1000007 And the garden, in whatever the different lights experienced, good for most of the month.S1020137 (2)SDIM6359 (2)SDIM6397 (2)S1020150 (2)SDIM6388 (2)SDIM6393 (2)SDIM6477 (2)SDIM6453 (2)SDIM6403 (2)SDIM6407 (2)SDIM6441 (2)SDIM6387 (2)But the frequently strong winds from the North, made it the worst April I can recall for early season pollinators, Camellias were only just beginning to flower at the end of the month, and although our cuckoos returned earlier than ever on April 12th, the first swallows were at least a week later.S1020124However, this very mixed up weather picture didn’t prevent a pair of robins rearing a first clutch successfully by the middle of April, and promptly laying another batch of eggs, in a nest constructed right in front of the house in the fern clad stone wall. The parents found our rusty cranes ideally placed for pre-nest-visiting perches.S1020166 (2)S1020162 (3)S1020136 (2)S1020056 (2)S1020066 (2)S1020067 (2)I spotted a basking, tail-less, common lizard, Zootoca vivipara, mid month during a rare warmer moment, just before I found this recently emerged damsel fly fluttering weakly around the terrace garden.SDIM6468 (2) In the end the monthly rainfall total of 108.2 mm, and PV output for the month (below) made it a fairly typical, though cooler than average, month.SDIM6520 (2)