I left the budding springtime in eastern Pennsylvania to visit Glasgow, Scotland for six days. Springtime along the north Atlantic was full of gorse blooms, primroses, daffodils beginning to fade (though there were several hillside hosts of golden daffodils worthy of Wordsworthian apostrophe), early tulips, and wildflowers alongside lakes, streams, and rivers, even in the city.
The days are longer than they are at my latitude, and the diurnal length has an effect on many of the bloom times. I saw few saucer magnolias–too windy, too chilly–but there were stellata magnolias and, to my surprise, camellias apparently thrive in Glasgow as long as they are planted in a sheltered area.
I spent a fine Saturday afternoon at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, which are lovely. The greenhouses there have an excellent collection of carnivorous plants: sundews from South Africa, pitcher plants from North America.
The entire span of days I visited, the weather was sunny. Glaswegians took advantage of the unusual break in the weather and were out in droves, picnicking at the Botanic Gardens Saturday and–on Easter Sunday–wandering Loch Lomond’s shores.
Like many of the rivers, canals, and lakes in the region, Loch Lomond is frequented by swans. It is nesting season, and I was thrilled to find cobs patrolling the waters and the female swans draped elegantly over their large nests. I didn’t see any cygnets, though I saw some ducks and ducklings.
Many years ago, my first book of poetry was a collaborative chapbook with my dear friend David Dunn. The book is listed on my Books page, but it is out of print. The title is The Swan King.
I returned home Monday, where my yard is resplendent with daffodils, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, magnolia, forsythia, and a zillion tufts of wild garlic (onion grass, we used to call it) punctuating the green grass of the lawn.
But lovely as my view was this morning, I wish I could have spent longer at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs…