Posted by: christinelaennec | May 31, 2014

Maytime in Glasgow

Here we are at the end of May!  I have been so delighted by the springtime.  Here in Glasgow, the month of May has been what June always meant to me in Aberdeen in terms of when things are in flower.  We’ve had some lovely days, with temperatures in the 60s, which the weatherman says is average, and a few in the low 70s, which is warm for here.  Here are some of the things I’ve enjoyed in May.  Laburnums (we had one in our front garden in Aberdeen):

Laburnum tree, Glasgow.  May 2014.

Laburnum tree, Glasgow. May 2014.

Clematis alongside azaleas:

Clematis & azalea, Glasgow, May 2014.

Clematis & azalea, Glasgow, May 2014.

Lovely rhododendrons:

Rhododendron, Glasgow, May 2014.

Rhododendron, Glasgow, May 2014.

Trees filling out more each day:

Glasgow, May 2014.

Glasgow, May 2014.

And – roses!  Now, in Aberdeen none of my roses (except for Maigold, the yellow rose in the photo below) ever bloomed before the end of June.  More often they bloomed at the beginning of July, and many’s the time I took a bouquet of my garden flowers on holiday to Harris with us because I was determined to enjoy them.  Here in Glasgow, roses have been blooming since mid-May!

Roses in bloom in May.  Glasgow, May 2014.

Roses in bloom in May. Glasgow, May 2014.

Glasgow, May 2014.

Glasgow, May 2014.

The hawthorn trees seem far taller than any I was acquainted with in Aberdeen, and their scent has been delicious.  The few degrees difference from Aberdeen must bring out the scent.

Hawthorn, Glasgow, May 2014.

Hawthorn, Glasgow, May 2014.

And the lilac has been a delight.  White, pink, purple – and also beautifully scented:

Lilac, Glasgow, May 2014.

Lilac, Glasgow, May 2014.

Now at the end of May, the lilacs are fading.  In the park, there is new life.  Ducklings:

Ducklings in the park, Glasgow, end of May 2014.

Ducklings in the park, Glasgow, end of May 2014.

All month long I have been watching the swans nesting in the pond there, and just in the past few days twelve cygnets have hatched.  Yesterday they were guarded by their mother, some next to her and some underneath.  The gulls that inhabit a different part of the pond would gladly have the cygnets as a snack:

Mama swan with cygnets, Glasgow end of May 2014.

Mama swan with cygnets, Glasgow end of May 2014.

Very sadly, Daddy swan was killed a few days ago in an encounter with an unleashed dog.  He was defending his unhatched offspring.  Signs have been put up warning dog owners to keep their dogs away from the pond, and people visiting have been very sad that Mama swan has lost her mate for life.  It is sad, but I’m sure that in the natural world father swans occasionally die defending their broods.  At least our father swan has many mourners besides his immediate family.

I wish you all a great weekend!



  1. Oh such beauty! How special to see swans nesting. I’m so sorry about the father swan. What a shame! Scotland is such perfect weather for rhododendrons. They are hard to grow here in Indiana. Incidentally, Pollok Park has an immense collection of all kinds of rhododendrons….

    At the wedding last night I met the sweetest Scottish lady! She moved to the States 57 years ago from Glasgow! But she still has a lovely accent. We are going to get together for tea in August when she comes back to stay with her daughter.

  2. Everything seems to have been blooming magnificently this year, I suppose it’s down to the warm weather, it’s certainly lovely to see. Lovely to have your roses out already.

  3. Very beautiful. You always take wonderful pictures that make me feel that I am there. Well, almost 😉 So sad about Daddy Swan and I hope Mama and babies will be fine.

    Wendy in NH

  4. I have been away from real blogging for months and months. I have missed visiting my friends. I have missed connecting. I have missed you. It is so good to come back here and see that you are still savoring the best things in life. Still sharing your life here. I have missed you, friend.

  5. So sorry to hear about the swan that was killed.
    I think most places have had plants flowering early this year because the winter, though wet, was not cold. We certainly have everything early in Oxford. It’s true though that Glasgow has a different climate from Aberdeen. I think being west rather than east is important. Your photos are lovely.

  6. Flowers this year have been lovely, as your photos show so well. 🙂
    Usually roses are in bloom in June in Glasgow, but they are early this year coz of the warmer winter. So sorry for Dad Swan, so sad! 😦

  7. Have to say that in the north east of scotland we have noticed far more blossoms and flowers blooming much earlier this year. Also things that did poorly last year have gone into overdrive – including the weeds!

  8. As always, beautiful photos. I think the mild winter we had this year may be why some things are flowering early this year. Sad news about the Daddy swan.

  9. I have been remiss in reading my blog list and just finished catching up with your wonderful and amazing trip to Harris, Inverness, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen. How wonderful it is to see you smiling so! I am glad to hear you took some time for yourself 🙂 The Dafter looks so grown up too – I hope her recovery is still going well. Wishing you sweet thoughts and hugs for you and your family!

  10. Lovely pictures, Christine! I have never seen a swan on its nest. Terrible news about the daddy’s death. Every action in this world has consequences, indeed.

  11. Thank you, everyone, for your very kind comments. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the photos.

    It does seem that Britain has enjoyed an earlier spring than usual. My neighbours say that things are about two weeks earlier than normal (which still puts Glasgow about a month ahead of Aberdeen).

    This afternoon Mama swan had her cygnets out on the big pond, and she was pulling up lots of green plants from below the water. Then she returned them all to the nest and spent a long time preening herself. They were all imitating her – so very sweet! I think they’re only about a week old. Nature is amazing.

  12. absolutely lovely flowers and bushes. I love the roses in particular.

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