Spring seems to be stretching from February to June this year. After a few mild, sunny days in February and a few more in March, April was cold and dry. The spring bulbs budded slowly and opened cautiously. At the end of May the Ballerina tulips have just shed their petals but the apple blossom will last into June.

.

.

There’s been plenty of rain in May so, for plants that don’t depend on warmth, it’s been good leaf-growing weather. The borders near the house are filling with mounds of perennial cornflowers, cushions of soft alchemilla leaves and hummocks of lime green euphorbia, threaded through with orange geums and purple pansies. The bold colours lend a touch of warmth to the view even when (as today) the garden is shrouded in chilly mist.

.

.

The beech hedge, which will eventually enclose this part of the garden, has sprung into leaf over the last week. The two young rowan trees are in leaf now too, one by the drive…

.

.

and the other in the corner we call the Byre Garden. Ferns which looked dead a week ago are unfurling delicate, new fronds and the box bushes (including the tiny, new hedge on left of this picture) are covered in a fuzz of bright green new growth.

Beyond the Window Box has been silent for six weeks. First the lengthening days tempted me to extend my gardening late into the evening, swallowing time that might have been spent writing. Then my ‘proper’ camera went on strike, refusing to recognise its own lens. Once I get out of the habit of posting regularly I find I quickly lose the sense that I have anything to write about. This post (illustrated by ‘good enough’ photos from my old, compact camera) is a way back in – a record for my garden diary in future years if nothing else.