Spring was very late this year, as our long, cold winter seemed to stretch endlessly into March. Then suddenly April brought cloudless, sunny days, unusually high, almost-heatwave-like temperatures, and a long, dry period without rain. Despite being two or three weeks later than usual, spring bulbs flowered spectacularly, as did trees, shrubs, hedges, wildflowers and other plants. Pollinating insects emerged and (fingers crossed) went to work on all the fruit blossom. Then things worsened again. Early May was cold, and there was a frost on the allotments during the nights of Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th. Potatoes, bean seedlings, strawberries, figs, and grape vines were all among the plants damaged or killed.