22 MARCH 1957, Page 25

Country Life


A PEW days of mild weather certainly make a great difference. Before lamb-like March came in there was no hint that the garden was quite so ready to bloom, but now we have red tulips standing proudly in the rockery, at least a fortnight early. The gooseberries are in leaf and the weeds we neglected at the back- end are spreading with a dismaying speed, groundsel seeding and divers crawling out from the hedge. The birds have all been infected by these somewhat out- of-season days (a temperature of 69 degrees one day) that belong, one feels, to the Scilly Isles or sunny corners of the far south. Sparrows are chasing feathers and carrying dead grass and yesterday when an enter- prising jackdaw carried a large piece of newspaper into the trees across the road he had hardly shredded the first fragments for his mate when two other pairs of home-makers came on the scene and attacked the prize. It is spring, cries the peewit on the ploughed field, and the magpie, still prospecting for thick bushes in which to make a home, chatters delightedly that this is true.