It feels like high summer, except that the flowers are all wrong, the trees are not yet very leafy, and we still need to wrap up warm first thing in the morning. People who go early to the garden to pick flowers end up leaving piles of woollies in the bothy as the day warms up and they peel off the layers. We've picked the last of the tulips now. Those that missed being picked have been able to reveal their full beauty for us all to enjoy as we potter past them with hoes and wheelbarrows, doing what's needed to get the garden in excellent shape for the summer. This morning I've been picking clematis, ranunculus, forget-me-nots, the last of the hellebores and the first of the camassias. The early peonies are already making big fat round buds, and I wonder if all this sun will mean that this year we might even be able to pick the first of them before the end of April. The roses are looking very exciting, with masses of strong, glossy, rushing growth and the first sprinkling of flower buds appearing. As a treat I have picked for myself the first tall stem of lily of the valley I found in the garden this year, and as I sit typing its delicious scent wafts about the office.