By CleanSteve

April hail showering on the Tulip 'Exotic Emperor'

I spent the day doing various tasks, some of which were related to preparing for tonight's Preservation Trust trustees meeting which I've been asked to chair.

I became very annoyed by several squirrels which try to grab food from the bird feeders just outside the back door, so I tried various tactics to scare them off, but they were only temporarily successful. It is an ongoing battle now.

The weather varied from sunshine, wind, cloud, drizzle, rain and finally thunder followed by several heavy hail showers. I poked my head outside the back door and tried to photography the hail falling against the constantly shifting dark brooding sky, which was quite dramatic.

I also leant down and tried to catch the drama as the this rather special April hail shower on the Tulip 'Exotic Emperor'  was buffeted by the heavy hailstones.You can see the size of some of the hailstones lying on the leaves of the tulip  as well as some falling in realtime, which was my initial purpose in taking the pictures. Soon after the sky cleared and it was a lovely cold sunny day again with piles of hail lying in heaps where the wind and surfaces had aggregated them. They didn't melt for ages as it was still so cold.

This Tulip 'Exotic Emperor' is an absolute delight. It is one of the many surprises in the  large pot of spring bulbs I bought at the Minchinhampton Country Market before Christmas. My colleague Chris prepares an assemblage of a range of bulbs all designed to grow and flower in succession. They have been fabulous and I've just noticed another late daffodil into flower ,and a new tulip is also just emerging. I think it may be a Tulip 'Brown sugar', according to the label!

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