Tuesday 27 April 2010


It has been a quite astonishing spring for blossom - I can't remember one like it (perhaps the last was after one of the cold winters of the 80s?). On my Mole Valley walk last Saturday, there were stands of blossoming shrubs and trees - thorns, wild cherries, plums and pears - so dense and bright in the sun that they literally dazzled the eye. There's a piece about this year's prodigious cherry blossom in the Times today, with the obligatory meteorological explanation. But in reality this extravagance of blossom hits the eye and the receptive mind as a miracle, a wonder. Of course it is the product of natural forces, but that fact seems a pretty paltry thing against the fact of beauty so startling it stops you in your tracks. I don't think I've ever been stopped in my tracks so often as I have this glorious, blue-skied, blossom-bright spring.


  1. Yes, this is just how I feel. The blossom round here has been fabulous, with a bonus of butterflies on it too. A peacock against hawthorn flowers, just amazing when, a couple of months ago, all was drear and frozen. I suppose it's nature's stupendous prodigality that gets me, no nonsense there about one slice of cake for you.

  2. Here in leafy Bucks, there's mile upon mile of flowering blackthorn, edging every field and roadside verge - a truly staggering display. Your eye is drawn on by each blanched row as it swerves and topples, top heavy, over the horizon. Most years, the blackthorn seems to have an astringent, almost Lenten beauty, but this time - is it the blue skies, or just the sheer profusion? - it's unnervingly voluptuous.

    I've often thought it before, but never with quite such conviction: between April 1 and June 14 (or so) England is, quite objectively, the most beautiful place in the world.

  3. I was in NYC's Central Park last week.

    Exactly the same there.