The middle of April brought us two weeks of summer warmth - and it was actually hot and dry, which was a bit ominous, given that last year's drought summer started early too. Over the past three weeks, we've only had half an inch of rain.
Then, temperatures plummeted and we have just come through three nights of frost: two of them quite severe, down to minus 5 degrees C (23 degrees F).
Too bad we didn't have this in reverse: cold followed by warm. The crocuses and snowdrops were over far too quickly, and the flowering trees came on too soon.
My star magnolia ('Royal Star') started blooming during the warm weeks and was almost finished by the time frost turned its blossoms brown.
But my two 'Betty' magnolias had just begun to bloom when the frost hit. These trees are still small, so I covered them with a sheet, which helped the first night when the frost was mild, but couldn't prevent damage from the more severe frosts.
On a brighter weather note, it looks like there is real rain in the forecast for the next three days. Bring it on, I say.
The frosty weather didn't deter plant-hungry gardeners at Royal Botanical Gardens this morning. They were in full force for the RBG Auxiliary's annual plant sale. The sale is on again on Saturday morning.