I saw this beautiful flowering quince (Chaenomeles japonica) on a country walk two weekends ago when we had a day of sunshine in between the constant weeks of rain. Although it is a Spring flowering shrub I don't recall seeing it in flower quite this early before.
One of my early 'garden' memories as a child was of this plant that my Dad grew against a sheltered border in our garden. I think I probably liked the bright pink flowers! I also remember being fascinated by a fig tree which we passed on our walk to school. Funny how memories like this stay with you.
We also saw these Hellobores which looked stunning in the sunshine
and a pussy willow with its furry catkins beginning to appear.
Surely a sign that Spring can't be too far away!
Our walk from Shoreham took us along very muddy lanes until we reached the pretty village of Otford where we had coffee in the pub garden. Otford has some lovely antique and craft shops as well as tearooms but as we had my brother's dog with us (and were very muddy) we didn't visit on this occasion.
Our walk then continued past Otford Methodist Church
and through the graveyard
where we chanced upon the grave of Thomas Maldwyn Pryce, a British racing driver from Wales famous for winning the Brands Hatch Race of Champions, a non-championship Formula One race in 1975. He was tragically killed in the South African Grand Prix in 1977 aged 27. He met his wife in Otford in 1973. How very sad but what a tranquil resting place.
We then walked back through more mud (trying to stay upright in places) but the views were worth it!