We had a superb show of bluebells in Kent this year, along with all the spring blossom. The cold weather kept everything brilliant and cool - it all lasted so long. But the bluebells have very nearly finished now in the south, and it was a joy to find them still in their prime as we moved north through the country.
The wild flowers in the verges have been a delight - the cow-parsley I mentioned, making the scene a study in green and white, but have had yellows and pinks and blues too. I wish I was more knowledgeable about the species. We have a book with us and I will try to learn more as we go.
When I lived in Norfolk I was in awe of the wild-flowers along the roads - their county council had a management policy which allowed the plants to set seed and thus continue and the variety was spellbinding. England must once have been like this all over. It's sad to see the cutters going along swathing everything down before the next generation of flowers has been allowed to settle in.
Up in North Wales, the trees are also a week or so behind Kent - the ash still only very small in leaf. But in Oxfordshire, I would say they were a bit ahead - maybe there is a heating effect being in the centre of the landmass of the island.
Here's what things looked like as we arrived in Dublin yesterday afternoon... thanks to my cousin Lynn-Marie Gandolfo for editing my slightly squiffy phone-snap. The sky was amazing, with dense showers hurling themselves past, and brilliant sunshine in between.