April Showers

"April showers bring forth May flowers" the English proverb says; it's been a week of downpours and drenchings - no doubt well received throughout the drought ridden southern counties, but no fun if you're dashing between home and work, trying to predict if you'll make cover before the next round of hail and thunder.

If you've had a chance to look around outside lately, you'll note that spring has finally sprung. The greenery is both lush and vibrant - hence the term "spring green"; it has a luminosity unlike any other time of the year - vibrant, young and tender shoots from the grass to the trees all bursting forth in readiness for summer's first explosion of flowers. The snowdrops are a distant memory, daffodils have all but gone and have been replaced by magnolias, swathes of bluebells, forget-me-nots and tulips. The sun is stronger, the days longer and I can almost smell the changes in the air.

Blossom laden trees are now unfurling into green leaf and the camelia bush by my front door, has exploded into bloom and when it rained, the drenched flowers fell like confetti all over the threshold like an exotic wedding ceremony. On my occasional morning run and visits to the common this week walking my wayward spaniel, I have seen song thrushes and blackbirds pulling worms from waterlogged earth to feed to their fledglings; the goldfinches are regulars at the feeders alongside the blue tits and I have narrowly avoided colliding with sparrows popping in and out of the hedgrows! I've even heard woodpeckers - it's a beautiful sight watching nature getting on with life or should it be life getting on with nature?

At flower market this week, as always, I looked for some floral inspiration for my upcoming weddings. I arrived in spring mode expecting to see narcissus and muscari bulbs as has been the case for the last few months, but they have all but gone and been replaced by the blooms of early summer. There were peonies, delphinium, phlox and stocks as well as more familiar lilacs, tulips and hyacinth. Spring in the market is taking its final bow for 2012. I left filled with the anticipation of summer being just around the corner - that and a van loaded, amongst other things, with bunches of stocks filling the air with their intoxicating scent. I'm looking forward to clapping my eyes on the first sweet peas of the season and when I do, summer really will have arrived for this little florist and I'll be sure to share my joy with you!