Looking Good 22nd April

In spring new life bursts into the open yet despite the exuberance and vigour of all the new growth flower colours are soft and harmonious. In our garden I love the pastel blooms of the first bulbs in shades of lemon, lilac and soft blue. Then we have blossom in all shades of pink and cream plus fresh white of course. Usually new leaves are a fresh shade of lime green which sets it all off beautifully. I love spring!


There’s no doubt that the colours of spring appeal to me but there’s much more to it than that. There’s something about spring that makes me feel so happy to be alive. There are subtle scents on the breeze. Flowers warming in the sunshine, the sharp scent of mown grass and that unmistakable scent of warm earth when bending down to pull up a few weeds. Taking a few minutes to enjoy a coffee on my studio deck means that I can observe the wildlife without disturbing anything. Birds are singing to claim their patch of garden or simply for the sheer joy of living. Watching them as they swoop across the field makes me wonder if they are trying to impress a mate or swooping and twirling just because they can. Well I would… wouldn’t you?

This week I’ve been looking closely at textures and most beautiful of all at the moment are the buds on our trees. Sycamore is considered to be the weed tree by many in horticulture. It’s true that they self seed around and may become annoying in some gardens… but not here! Just take a look at their pink buds and deeply veined leaves unfurling. How amazing are they?




I took these photos on our driveway where Sycamore grows in the hedgerows. The background plants are Symphoricarpus albus which are just coming into leaf too. You may remember them from one of my Looking Good posts in September… they produce white berries in autumn.

Another little bundle of texture turned up unexpectedly. A young hedgehog appeared one sunny afternoon. Hedgehogs shouldn’t be out during the daytime as they are nocturnal animals so we were quite concerned. We fed it dog food and water and it ambled off quite happily we thought. Then the little creature reappeared the next day so we rang the Hedgehog rescue centre. They were fully booked and advised us to take him to the local vet.


Over the phone the vet told us that it was good news that his eyes were bright and he was rolling into a ball when we picked him up. We popped him into a plant propagator with a lid and whizzed off to the vets in the next village.


We felt confident that he was in good hands even though I had to sign a form consenting to euthanasia if necessary. They said they would keep him in to try to help out. We are hoping that the vet can save his life. It doesn’t seem right that something so tiny should be suffering when everything around us is so full of life and energy.

I hope you are enjoying the lovely spring sunshine in your garden this week and hopefully I’ll have some good news soon. Gillian 🙂


23 thoughts on “Looking Good 22nd April

  1. Lovely photos of the buds of leaves! And of course all those pastel flowers are beautiful! The UK has everything, even a hedgehog rescue!

    1. Thanks and Yes that’s really true Cady! There are Hedgehog rescue centres all over the place. Hedgehogs are in trouble with their numbers in steep decline and some really kind people take in sick, injured or orphan hedgehogs looking after them until they are strong enough to be released into the wild.

  2. Hedgehogs!! Such a treat for me to see them! But considering their decline, they might be a real treat for you, too. I was watching something (“Nature”?) not long ago and the segment was a bout a hedgehog “highway” whereby neighbors would open up their gardens, by creating openings through fences for hedgehogs to travel through. Sweet. Your photos are gorgeous–I;m sure spring must be glorious for you!

    1. We have lots of hedgehogs around here… we can hear them snuffling about at night even so I’m always excited to see them. I think that the concrete fence bottoms that some people use have stopped hedgehogs moving around freely but around here we have hedge boundaries which sometimes let sheep and cows through so tiny creatures have no trouble!

  3. Wonderful post. Gillian. You are really in the amidst of the glories of spring. I hope your little hedgehog is able to return to the wild. Do they let you take him back for release in your garden?

    1. Thanks Eliza… the vet asked me if we would have him back if he survives. Of course I agreed. Will keep you informed of progress.

  4. I admire you for trying to help the little hedgehog. They seem so sweet
    Wildlife does need some human help once in a while. I hope it recovered.

  5. A lovely post, as always, Gillian, full of beautiful details. The story of your hedgehog rings bells, we started seeing them here in daylight five years ago since when their numbers have declined. I hope the one you helped rescue makes a good recovery from whatever ails it.

    1. Thanks Kate. Animals and bird populations declining is quite worrying isn’t it? I don’t think there really is such a thing as a safe garden chemical.

  6. Lovely bud photos. It is amazing what there is to see if you take the time to look. Taking photos really helps with this doesn’t it. The sun is out here but we are forecast another very cold night so think I will be wrapping a few things up again.
    I hope your hedgehog is OK – I haven’t seen one here for many years now. It is such a shame. I would love one in the garden.

    1. Thanks Annette. Photography does encourage me to look closely at things… it’s amazing how beautiful the natural world is if we stop and really look for a few minutes. It’s been quite cold here today too with just a light frost this morning. I think we’ll be OK tonight as it’s very cloudy now. I must admit that I do enjoy having Hedgehogs around. We have made our garden quite welcoming for them 1) We’re organic so no nasty slug pellets/poisoned creatures for them to eat. 2) We leave small twigs and fallen leaves under our hedges so they have shelter. 3) We leave small dishes (ceramic plant saucers) of fresh water in various places. 4) We have no fences only hedges which are easy for Hedgehogs (and ducks, foxes and badgers etc…) to walk straight through and navigate along.

      1. Apart from the bowls of water and a wall on one side, I have all the other things you mention. I must find out if anyone round here has hedgehogs.

  7. Those unfurling sycamores are divine. I hope the little hedgehog survives. Beautiful photos.

  8. So beautiful to be able to see the close-up details. Buds are, indeed, truly gorgeous; they are so full of promise.

    I couldn’t help but chuckle when you said you called the hedgehog rescue (with no hedgehogs in Canada, that’s a new one to me). It was only this past winter, in the UK, that I learned of the plight of those little creatures. I had no idea they were in danger. Thanks for giving the little guy a helping hand.

    1. Buds everywhere this week! It may be colder than usual but we’ve had sun and rain too so our plants are bursting all over the place!

  9. I do hope the little hedgehog pulls through ok! Some lovely signs of spring in your garden and I especially like the pastel colors. You captured the unfurling sycamore beautifully!
    – Kate x

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