Monday, 15 April 2013

April flowers in my garden

Yesterday, Sunday was an absolutely stunning day, the warmest day of the year so far here in London, with 22 degrees in the afternoon. We have waited a very long time for a day like that! I used the opportunity to take pictures for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, although a bright sunny day is not at all a good photography day, I much prefer slightly overcast, as pictures of flowers and plants look so much better in a less harsh light. But the sun we had yesterday was very much welcome, pictures or no pictures, I haven’t really seen proper sunshine for what feels like forever!

My garden is late. Can’t really find a better word for it than late. Later than I have ever seen it, in all the time I have been in this house, and this is my 12th summer. We have had late springs before, and late summers, and late autumns for that matter – and there has been winters where winter never really got going before spring took over again. But this year we had a proper old long winter, and spring has barely started. The last few day’s slight increase in temperature has helped to push along a few things in the garden, it’s not as if nothing has happened the last 3 months – it has, just much slower than normal. So here we are in April, with daffodils still in buds and crocuses still flowering. Not happened in my garden before, I should have roses in buds now! ...no sign of any roses, by the way, the leaves have barely started to come out, despite that I pruned the roses more than 2 months ago. It has just been too cold for the roses to put on any growth.

OK, so here’s proof, this thermometer is in the shade until late afternoon, and before the sun caught it today it showed just over 22 degrees. This picture was taken at 2:05 pm.


The early spring flowers are still going strong, some of the daffodils are still in bud!


Here is my woodland corner, perhaps some of my readers will remember this area from last year when it was an explosion of crocuses, anemones, cyclamens and arisaemas for almost 5 months, as soon as one thing was about to die out, the next thing would emerge. This year it has been a bit different. I seem to have lost a lot of crocuses, all the white crocuses died off before the blue emerged, last year they came up almost at the same time, and then followed by the anemones. This year all the crocuses in this area are long gone, and only this week has the anemones started flowering. There is absolutely no sign of any arisaemas, although there are more than 50 in this area. They must be still sleeping underground :-)

The anemones are not as many as last year either, both crocuses and anemones were supposed to ‘naturalise’, I don’t think mine have understood what that term means!


My pretty ballerinas are finally flowering! This is Trillium cuneatum, a larger clump which seems to have understood what naturalising means :-)


The flower of Trillium cuneatum.


My camellia started flowering properly this week, 2 months later than last year!!


This is my huge Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' , it has never been pruned and has taken on gigantic proportions, a bit difficult to see in this photo, but although it is not very tall it has become very wide. But I like the un-pruned  look of it, I think I will just leave it to it.


The hydrangeas have finally started to produce leaves, normally they are completely covered in leaves by mid April.


My hyacinths have finally started flowering too, just in time for GBBD! This is Hyacinths 'Woodstock' and 'Fondant'.


Hyacinths 'Woodstock'.


Hyacinths 'Fondant'.


I am continuing to do work on my seating area, still more to do, but my old garden bench here at the right in the picture, got a coat of furniture glazing paint, look at it now, it looks brand new! I love that dark colour the wood gets with the glazing paint, I just need to give the chair a coat too so it all looks the same.


To the left of my seating area is a newcomer from last summer, a Forsythia, dwarf  'Mini Gold' , now flowering for the first time. The plan is to let it live permanently in the container.


Forsythia, dwarf  'Mini Gold'



The first tulips have opened, just in time for GBBD, how nice of them! They are Fosteriana tulips, planted in autumn 2011 and flowered last spring for the first time. Fosteriana tulips are supposed to naturalise well, so I did wonder if they would come up again this year or if last year would be it. But it seems most of them have produced flowers again, so perhaps no need to worry – perhaps they understood what naturalisisng actually mean! These two are 'Madame Lefeber' and 'Albert Heijn',  there is also a white 'Purissima', but there is no sign of flowers on that one yet. The blue primroses was an impulse buy, they don’t really like the terracotta tray, it is a bit shallow so I think these will need a permanent home somewhere in the garden soon.

That was a short roundtrip to see some of the things that are flowering in my garden this mid April 2013. I still have my Chaenomeles in flower, and cyclamens and of course lots of hellebores, but I made a whole post about my hellebores last week so I thought I would skip photos of them this time. If you missed the post about the hellebores you can find it here. I also have lots of pansies in flower in my front garden, but you have seen them before as well so I skipped them too. Somehow I hope my garden will catch up at some point, perhaps if we got really hot weather for a few weeks then things could actually catch up and get back on track. You see, normally I would be waiting for my first roses and lilies right now, and the alliums would be in full flower. And lots of other plants would be just about to flower, plants that hasn’t even got out of ground. I do wonder what I will be able to show you in May’s GBBD, will everything be just as late or has my garden caught up? Well, looking at the next 10 days’ weather nothing much is going to happen in terms of a miracle in my garden, it will be somewhere between 8 and 14 degrees Celsius, not at all enough for my garden to play catch-up. But even if that doesn’t happen I will enjoy every ray of sunshine we get, I have waited a long time for some good sunshine and so has my garden. Until next time, take care.

I am linking this post to:
- May Dream’s Garden, have a look at what’s flowering around the world right now.
- Mosaik Monday at Mary’s Little Red House.

68 comments:

  1. Lovely blooms Helene and I enjoyed reading your post. I especially like the collage of the different blooms. Temperatures are finally rising here as well. Love this time of year!

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    1. Thank you Lee, a bit unstable week with some rain here, but higher temperatures at last.

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  2. Your garden and photos are beautiful!

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  3. So many beautiful blooms! I especially like the Trilliums!
    We seem to be about 2 weeks behind this Spring, too.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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    1. Thank's Lea, the trilliums are a favourite of mine too, not very common in British gardens. Have a great week you too!

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  4. Oh, i have been reading in all blogs that winter in temperate countries are so long, spring is nowhere to be seen! I guess it is true that winters will be long in your parts of the world, while with us there will be longer dry season. Oh My God, that is really disturbing, and there are plants here whose blooming schedules are already unusual. If only we can trade-in the hot and cold, then we will all be living in moderate climes. In your flowers i love most the Trilium and the blue primroses because they are very alien to me.

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    1. I guess in one way it would be great if we all had a moderate climate, but there are plants suitable for all climates, and some would not thrive in a middle-of-the-road temperature....can't win them all :-) That said, I would not mind living somewhere where minimums temp was 20 degrees and maximum was 32, all year, that would be my ideal. Although that would mean I could not grow tulips but I would happily scarify that for a climate like that!

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  5. Fantastic that we finaly got spring. I am amazed how fast everything in the garden is showing up now after month's of cold and not growing 1 cm. I love to see you Camillia opens her flowers. We are in the most lovely time of the year. Enjoy springtime Helene.

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    1. And enjoy your spring too! Those red tulips that had only one open on Sunday have now all open today, all 30! Yes, it's going fast now that it's finally happening.

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  6. Those are some lovely colors you share with us today. Love the hyacinths a lot.

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    1. Thank you, glad you enjoyed the visit :-)

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  7. Hi Hellen,
    I can finally see your ballerinas in bloom! They are awesome!! I've never seen it around here...
    And I've also never seen such a huge Skimmia. They are dynamic!! By the way, I posted GBBD,too. Thanks for giving me a chance to join such a enjoyable event!

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    1. Hi Keity, great you joined in on the GBBD, it is a good way of keeping a record for yourself, and also sharing your garden with us all.
      I can't see why trilliums won't grow in Japan, you have a very similar climate to northern Europe and to Northern America where trillimus are native. I also think they are native to some Asian countries but don't know which. They need humus rich, moist, acid soil in dapple shade, they normally grow under trees. Not really for container growing, but if you give them the right conditions you might be able to grow them. You can order rizomes online.

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  8. I am thrilled to see your Trilliums in flower. I think it such a difficult plants and I am always fond of blue anemones, but they just disappeared over the years. It was great to have such a lovely warm Sunday yesterday, doing some gardening and just looking at our gardenplants we almost see them grow now. Today some rain, also perfect for the garden.
    Wish you a happy gardening week!

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    1. I am really fond of my trilliums, especially since I have done absolutely nothing to make that single plant I got multiply into that big clump, it did it all on it's own! It is obviously a good place for it.

      We are having some rain this week too, we don't really need it, we need more sun! Happy gardening week to you too!

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  9. I noticed some camellia flowers yesterday on what should be the early flowering one! Your cat certainly chooses the most comfortable position!

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    1. My cat is with me outside all the time, if he finds the weather warm enough, this spring he has spent a lot of time indoors despite me being out in the garden :-)

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  10. You know, I am glad you mentioned about the hydrangeas....I thought they were covered last year too by this time...wow, everything is real late, around the world...wonder why that is..

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    1. Two years ago my hydrangea had flower buds in April!
      Everything is late here in Britain because of the jet streams up in the air being in the wrong place all winter, and that is because of the excessive melting of the ice on the north pole. Global warming has given us colder winters the last 4 years, mad as it sounds - and colder, wetter summers too. Somewhere else on the planet they are getting hotter, but not here in Britain.

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  11. Nice to see so many different plants in bloom. I love your Trilliums. It is something I have been wanting to incorporate into my own garden. Happy Spring.

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    1. Happy spring to you too!
      Trilliums are rewarding little plants, and there are so many different to choose from. On my wish list I have Trillium grandiflorum 'Snowbunting'. Look it up if you are thinking of getting into trilliums, it is a stunner!

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  12. So much to love in your garden, Helene! Gorgeous blooms (even though they are late) - I know you wait for the camellia and it is finally starting to bloom. Also, good work on the bench! Your seating area looks very inviting.

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    1. Thank you Astrid, my seating area is a slow project, mostly for financial reasons, just have to take one thing at the time - but I am getting there :-)

      Can you believe my camellia is 2 months later to bloom than last year?? And last year wasn't particularly early...

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  13. I can see things are a bit late, but I'm sure you'll soon have a blast of warmer weather that will cause a creation of color in your gardens! I love the trillium's! Great post Helene, Cheers, Jenni

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    1. I wish I was as confident as you! A blast of warmer weather would be nice. I am afraid we are back at around 12 degrees C now, that whiff of summer was only for 2 days and no more days like that in sight yet. But we live in hope!

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  14. Hi Helene, beautiful post. I liked photos of Trillium cuneatum very much. It‘s becoming a tradition to check for new plants after visiting your blog :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Great to hear I can be of inspiration, I often Google plants I see on othe people's blogs too, and I have a plant wish list on my PC where I copy and paste any plant I find that I would like to have in my own garden. And I am pleased to say that some of the plants I now have are here because I read about them on other gardening blogs :-)

      Have you looked at the tab 'PLANTS' on my blog? A nice shopping list for a small garden with acid soil :-)

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  15. Helene - the overall look of your garden is certainly filling out! It all looks so fresh. Isn't it great to feel a bit of heat about the bones :)
    My Hydrangeas are still bare - as much as I love them - I can't stand the look of them without leaves! Your hyacinths are very nice I like the colour of woodstock very much.
    Trilliums - need I say more - devine! I think everything will be back on track by the end of the month (but don't quote me).

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    1. I so hope you are right about being back on track by the end of the month - but I don't think my garden will be able to catch up that fast, no way, that would take a small miracle!

      As much as I like the warmer temperatures we have had, I must say I enjoy even more the sunshine. It feels like I haven't really seen the sun since last October. Long may it last!

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  16. Interesting that it's a late spring across the pond as well! This is certainly one of the slowest, coldest springs I can recall in the northern U.S. Your garden looks absolutely lovely though - your woodland corner is so charming! And I love those unusual blue primroses - hope you can get them to establish permanently for you.

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    1. At least you had a very early and warm spring last year, to make up for a late one this year - kind of. We didn't! We just rained away last year, the whole year. This year I believe we are owed a really smashing summer!

      I like those blue striped primroses too, I am going to find them a home in the garden somewhere, although the slugs are a bit too fond of primroses so they won't look as pristine as now after a while.

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  17. Everything looking so pretty, especially those blue primroses (the last picture). It's still chilly here, especially in night though the days are gorgeous with bright sun and blue sky.

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    1. Good to hear everyone gets warmer days, it is about time :-)

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  18. Looking good, Helene. After the nightmare that this winter has been I think we are finally into spring. Only two months late!

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    1. Yes, my garden is also 6-8 weeks late for some of my plants, unbelievable! I still don't know the full list of all the damage I have suffered, but there has been some loss.

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  19. Mother Nature definitely has her own schedule! Our spring was late this year as well. Your blooms are beautiful! Love the seating area and your bench looks fantastic!

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    1. Thank you, my seating area is a work in progress, more to come here, hopefully soon.
      If we now only could get Mother Nature to play catch up a bit then things wouldn't be so bad :-)

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  20. We have some of the same things blooming (or almost blooming) in our gardens. Except I don't (can't grow) Camellias. ;-( I agree ... your seating area is fantastic! You certainly made the most of the lighting for your photos!

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    1. Thanks Beth, I'm sorry it is too cold in the winter for you to grow camellias, I guess you live in a similar hardiness zone to where I used to live in Norway, that was 3b - pretty cold when it was really cold, and nowhere for a camellia to survive outdoors :-)

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  21. Our spring is also very late. So sorry to hear about your crocuses, did you have a very wet winter? Love your path and your Trillium.

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    1. We have had it wet since first week of April last year!!
      But some crocus patches have survived almost complete, so I am more inclined to blame the squirrels when it comes to lack of crocuses this year, they have been very interested in that corner of my garden for a long time.

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  22. Very nice, getting those Trillium to naturalize like that

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    1. Thanks, and I didn't do anything to make them multiply like that. I just planted one single trillium and 9 years later this is the result. No fertilisers, no dividing up the clump (yet) and nothing else apart from water when needed. Cool plant, easy for me at least :-)

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  23. Everything looks so pretty Helene! My tulips are out of the ground about an inch right now. I'm anxiously waiting :-)

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    1. We are getting there :-)
      My tulips have done almost miracles the last 2 days, compared to the photo from SUnday it is a big difference.

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  24. Gardens are late for the same reason women are- it just sometimes takes longer to get beautiful):-

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    1. Oh, I wish that was the whole explanation for this year's very late arrival, but I am afraid it's more behind it than that :-)
      That said, my garden is getting prettier every day so the warmth and sunshine is helping.

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  25. Hi Helene, Monday was our best day of sunshine and although the temp was 15f it felt warmer after the prolonged dreadful spell. I think your seating area is looking very comfortable. I am rather taken with your blue Primrose, do you know the name of it?

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    1. Hi Alistair, good to hear you got some warm weather too, it's a bit colder today with only 14 degrees but as long as we stay in double figures it is a huge improvement from the last couple of months!

      The primrose came from B&Q and has the apt name of ‘Zebra Blue’, full name is Primula acaulis ‘Zebra Blue’. I found it at Suttons too, but no longer for sale, you can get it in the autumn, do a search for Primula acaulis and see all the different varieties they have, like Blueberry Ice, Strawberry Ice and Romantic Collection, which looks like roses! I am definitely coming back here in the autumn! http://www.suttons.co.uk

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  26. Helene, spring has just gone kerpow! Just a couple of warm days was all that was needed to release all that pent up energy :)

    I was in London yesterday and sat outside at the Royal Festival Hall's cafe - unbelievable to think that only a week earlier I was shivering in my thermals!

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    1. Kerpow is a good word for it! One day was all it took for 50 tulips to go from tight buds to fully open!
      I enjoy the sunshine and the warmth, long may it last!

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  27. Wasn't it lovely to get some sunshine in London at last, Helene :-) You have some beautiful varieties of hyacinths there. Isn't their perfume just the best thing! I love your thermometer too, very unusual.

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    1. My thermometer came from Amazon just a couple of weeks ago, I didn't realise the 'distressed paintwork effect', there was nothing in the description about that, to me it just looks like it's been outside for too long...not sure if I like it!

      My hyacinths smell absolutely divine, although today has been a rubbish day again, hopefully the week-end will be better :-)

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  28. Hi Helene
    Lovely photos. I love the one with the cat on the chair :o). The Trillium is such a beauty! I never seen that plant before. Spring is late here too and yesterday I even thought it was canceled because it seemed to be already summer and as I heart tomorrow we're back in winter again, only 10 degrees *brrrr*. So enjoy the sunshine as long as it lasts :o).
    Have a great day!
    Alex

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    1. My cat knows how to relax! It has got colder here too and we might get some night frost again , but day temperatures should be in double figures – just about! Have a great week-end!

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  29. Helene, you have really spring blossoms in your garden. I can't wait to see your rhododendrons in bloom. Nice hyacinths, seems I can feel their smell.

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    1. Thanks, yes I do wonder when my rhododendrons will flower, no sign of it yet, very late! And I also have an azalea with gorgeous flower which flowers at the same time. Soon I hope!

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  30. What a pretty thermometer you have. and so nice to see it showing some warm temps. We had some similar weather here yesterday but it lasted all of a couple hours before diminishing again. I'll take what I can get at this point!

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    1. You are the second person mentioning my thermometer :-) It's just a cheap one in metal that I bought on Amazon - with a distressed paintwork effect which I don't like, think I am going to give it a coat of black metal paint this summer when I will have to paint some wrought iron anyway. Now that's something I have never heard anyone say "I'm going to paint my thermometer today...!"

      Has been a lovely day today, but with a sharp wind at times. Tomorrow it will be more cloudy and that's the theme for the rest of the week - but temperatures in mid teens so I am not complaining!

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  31. Well it was lovely to hear you had a slightly warmer and sunnier day finally. The blooms that are on show at the moment are simply lovely, even if it's not as many as usual.

    It's always fascinating watching the cycles in the garden. It's never dull! I love the colour of the bench in your seating area. That's a cosy little spot.

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    1. Thanks Bernie, it's great we finally got spring here, we have had a lovely week-end, got a lot done!
      I'm still making plans for my seating area, more to come :-)

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  32. Glad to hear that warmer weather has finally arrived and let's hope it stays that way. We just received a spattering of snow flakes and hail yesterday instead of rain so I think all bets are off for anything "normal" this spring for us. I love your red trilliums (they are truly making up for the misbehaving crocuses and anemones.)

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    1. Ugh! More snow! We are going to have some colder nights this week, down to just above zero, but no more frost for us, and definitely no more snow in London! I hope spring will come to you soon :-)

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  33. I love your very unique thermometer and seating area. In Malaysia, it rains almost every month, so seating like that will frequently get wet, hence need to be covered. I guess spring has finally arrived in your area and the flowers and shoots are bright and fresh.

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    1. Hello, and welcome to my blog! It rains quite a lot in Britain too, and we had unusually amounts of rain in 2012, but the wooden furniture are made for being outdoor all year. My garden bench has been outside in my garden for 10 years and has never been covered, although I give it a treatment with furniture oil every year.

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  34. Helene, your garden is simply glowing. It is cold again here so we are in suspended early spring....but oh the sun is just wonderful isn't it!

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    1. Thank you Donna, I am enjoying the sunshine, can't get enough of it, I have missed the sun more than the warmth, it has been dull and overcast for months on end. This week-end has been lovely here in London, hope you get some sun and warm weather soon :-)

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