A lovely yellow dawn today, though still terribly cold for May. Out in the orchard, the purple elder is in flower. I bought this shrub many years ago from a wonderful local garden, the Jardin des Renaudies, which is planted around an old manor house. Its slightly toothed leaves are suffused with purple and the pale pink flowers have purple stems and pink stamens, which tint my elderflower cordial slightly pink. Also, it’s every bit as tough as a normal elder, which is useful on our exposed site. Today’s threads are orange, yellow, pale orange and pale yellow six-strand cottons, sewn in mixed strands of three; dark green and purple six-strand, sewn one strand each; and variegated pink, variegated lilac and rose pink six-strand, sewn in mixed strands of two. The stitches are chain stitch for the heart, stem stitch and fern stitch for the stems and twigs, thorn stitch for the leaves and French knots for the flowers.