We walked around the gardens of Blickling Hall in Norfolk a couple of weeks ago on a late spring day that was warm though not very sunny.  I love the lamp-like blossoms of the horse chestnuts in the second-last picture.  The close-up blossom is a grapefruit tree in the orangery.

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I took these pictures two weeks ago in my parents’ garden.  Summer is such a wonderful surprise – you wait for months and then everything flowers all at once.  After so much grey, followed by a little tentative green and white, we’re surrounded by colours upon colours.  It was worth the wait, yet again.


It’s been a long week of work and politics, after our holiday in beautiful Northumberland last week, so I thought it would be nice to welcome in the weekend, though not the next British government (which will take a little longer to arrive), with some images from the gardens at Cragside. Unfortunately I can’t also import the roar of RAF jet fighters practising their low-flying techniques that accompanied my picture-taking – but at least your ears won’t hurt while you enjoy the flowers.