Posted by: christinelaennec | May 16, 2012

Cold springtime

This has been a decidedly cold spring.  As I mentioned, it snowed on the 5th of May.  But the garden doesn’t seem to mind too much.  Here is a “snowy” flower, a daffodil called Mount Hood after the mountain near Portland, Oregon.  When I look at my Mt. Hood daffodils, I think of that beautiful silhouette that used to be so familiar, like a friend on the horizon.

Mount Hood daffodil, Aberdeen, early May 2012.

Here is a garden that the Dafter and I used to walk past nearly every day.  Its owners are professional gardeners, and boy can you tell.  We call it “the Perfect Garden” because there is never a leaf out of place.  Even the small lawn area is mown in stripes like a cricket pitch:

“The perfect garden,” Aberdeen, 15 May 2012.

When the Dafter was smaller, we would often stop to refresh ourselves with a mint here.  Despite what eavesdroppers might think, the phrase “once we get to the Perfect Garden” actually has no moral or religious meaning in our family!

On Monday I was visiting a friend in Stonehaven when a very dark cloud came over, like that scene in Through the Looking Glass when the crow darkens the sky.  And the next thing we knew, the windows were rattling with hailstones.  Half an hour later and they were still much in evidence:

After the hailstorm, 14 May 2012.

But sometimes it’s the falling petals that seem like snow:

Cruickshank Botanical Gardens, Old Aberdeen, 15 May 2012.

We’ve had some sunny moments too, albeit mostly accompanied by a rather icy North wind.  Hats and gloves would be useful, but I can’t bear to wear them in May.  A colleague of mine from Lancaster is fond of quoting her grandfather:  “Ne’er cast a clout til May be out”.  (Don’t wear fewer clothes until after the month of May has passed.)  Well I have “cast” my hat and gloves, and if I have blue hands and a red nose, so be it.

I hope you’re keeping warm where you are!



  1. You’re braver than I am, I’m still wearing woolly tights under my jeans! I was thinking just the other day, when it was very windy, how like snow the blossom looked when the wind was swirling it around in the air and across the streets. I was most amused by your ‘perfect garden’ eavesdropping comment, it made me think of the Brethren meetings my dad attended in his youth. Your new header photo is beautiful, by the way.

  2. Really lovely flowers! 🙂 I have not been in Scotland for long, but this has been the worst spring so far. Spring seemed early when in February everything was already in bloom in our wee neck of the wood, but the endless rain and cold wind of March and April ruined all the flowers. Like you, I don’t want to use hat and gloves in springtime, but with a high of 8 C degrees, I am sure cold during my walks. The gloomy weather is definitely worsening my “missing” Italy. 🙂
    Have a lovely evening.

  3. Gracious, what a spring there! I have to admit, I love the contrast: hailstones and petal showers, flowers and snow. But I’m sitting in the sunny southern US, where we began swim team practice this past Monday. It’s a tad chilly for swimming (74 degrees right now), but it’s not unbearable — for the kids, anyway. I’d HATE it! But if one is comfortably dry, the weather’s delightful.

  4. I have to say I am totally fed up of the weather. But my spirits were lifted by your lovely pics, particularly the ‘perfect garden’ something I never will achieve.

  5. Okay, I’m a wimp. Down-filled winter coat, scarf, gloves.
    Do you know the North East term for a garden like that? ‘Perjink’.

  6. Your flowers are very brave despite the chill! That Mt.Hood daffodil is simply beautiful! I’ve seen those bulbs for sale in the catalogs and have wondered how hardy they were and it seems they must be very hardy. Your ‘perfect garden’ is a lovely landmark and I like your humor in describing it. I do hope that your weather turns around soon. Blue hands and a red nose does not sound like fun! xx

  7. it’s hard to believe we are half way through May. I can’t fathom the amount of crazy snow and hail you have been having. I feel very blessed to have had such lovely weather at the end of April in the Isles. Your daffodil is gorgeous.

  8. Very cold indeed, strong wind from the North and much rain. I am still in my boots, no sign of bare feet in little shoes 😦

  9. I like interesting weather in Spring. Often we just transition from Winter to Summer within a few too short weeks and I like it when the Spring flowers last more than a few days. I love the images of falling petals and fallen hail next one another.

  10. Thanks so much for your comments, everyone, as always. (I’ve been having a bit of a catching-up on replying to comments spree, apologies if your inbox has been a bit spattered with replies – I’ll try not to fall so far behind in future!)

    Yes, it’s been the coldest spring in a hundred years, or something like that. But the flowers and trees seem undeterred – Nature is amazing!

    Lorna, I laughed at the thought of what the Brethren would say overhearing us talk about “reaching to the Perfect Garden”! 🙂 Tights under jeans, boy you must be cold!

    Kia, I can imagine many reasons why you must be missing Italy!

    Ellen, your weather does sound delightful although like you, I would not be inclined towards swimming practice.

    Jill, if the people who lived there weren’t professional gardeners, I think I might be a bit worried about them. Glad to hear you aren’t a Perfect Gardener.

    Linda, ‘perjink’! Thank you so much for this new-to-me word. I found a good piece by Betty Kirkpatrick about it:

    Karen, you must see if there’s such a thing as a Mount Rainier daffodil!

    ajb, you certainly were lucky with the weather. Or maybe it wasn’t luck! 😉

    karibu, at least you have loads of beautiful knitted and crocheted confections to wear until it warms up.

    Sigrid, I will keep in mind that the weather is interesting – so true! Glad you liked the petals/hailstones juxtaposition.

  11. Dear Christine, sorry for being such a stranger lately,but I’m think I’m on my way back…Love the flowers, especially the daffodil….Ron and I are in Germany at this moment and we had some hail yesterday…It was all white….It’s MAY!!!!! Hope the weather will be better when we’re in Scotland next month
    Erna x

  12. The older I get, the more the weather matters to me. I thinkI took it all in stride when I was younger.

    I understand the gloves thing. Here, I’ll say “I refuse to run the air conditioning until May” or something like that. We are all in various stages of denial about weather we would don’t like.

    We had an unusually hot March and April, but May has been lovely. May yours end on a nice note.

  13. Please ignore the errors.

  14. “Despite what eavesdroppers might think, the phrase “once we get to the Perfect Garden” actually has no moral or religious meaning in our family!”

    Heee 🙂

    Cricket stripes and everything! They must have a very small lawnmower 🙂
    It is perfect though. I love the purple pansies.

  15. Snow in May – fancy that! Beautiful pictures. ❤

  16. Dear Erna, Kelly, Suzy and Stacy Lyn,

    Thanks so much for your comments.

    Erna, I devoutly wish you lovely weather for your upcoming trip to Scotland!

    Kelly, I think what you say about being in denial is very true for many of us these days. We still have our heat on in the mornings and evenings.

    Suzy, I’m glad I amused you. And yes, I think they must have a small lawnmower.

    Stacy Lyn, yes it’s weird but it does happen sometimes. Thanks for stopping by!

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