Up until about ten days ago I would have said we were about six weeks behind what is considered 'normal' for this area in terms of plants putting in an appearance and bulbs coming up as flowers rather than 'blind' - lots of foliage but no colour. There has been however one exception to the gloom and that has been the marsh marigold in the pond. One of the first plants I bought after the pond was completed back in 2001 it comes back year after year bigger and brighter each year - which is quite ironic when you think it spends its whole lift submerged in water.
The recent few days of sunshine, before the wind and rain returned to flatten everything, has seen apple blossom, bluebells, tulips and fritillaries put in an appearance and now the aliums seem to be opening slowly. The first week in June usually (what is usual these days though?) sees the giant poppies make their blousey, show-off, look at me, appearance brightening the garden with their bright reds and oranges, that's generally when I get the feeling the summer is on the way. At the moment though with the grey sky, the wind and the rain, together with frost forecast for tomorrow night, summer seems as far away as ever.