No matter what time of year, it can be chilly and wet in England. Because of this tendency to what I think of as the English "default" weather, the distinct outline of the different seasons tends to blur.
This year's wet summer has meant that even the trees which change with the autumn have clung to their leaves. We have conkers and blackberry bramble -- sure signs of fall -- but my garden is full of the blooms, and even the buds, more associated with summer. One season can bleed into the next and the only way to tell the difference is by what is coming out of the ground -- but even that method isn't foolproof.
"It's been a good year for fruit, but a bad year for grain," says my gardener. The tomatoes, which had showed early promise, never got enough heat to ripen and ended up rotting on the vine. But we've had a bumper crop of apples, and the roses have bloomed again and again.
After a dreary August, which kept gardeners inside and the butterflies away, we have had a good run of sunny days. It always seems to be this way. We get one more precious blast of glorious warmth before the dark door of October closes.
So as September slips away, I offer up a fond last look at summer.
This is the infamous rose hedge that I planted on a wet and windy Bank Holiday weekend.
There is a mix of pink Penelope shrub roses and pale yellow Malvern Hills climbers. Someday, if I'm lucky, the roses will cover the fence and hang in garlands from up above.
A lovely little willow tree, just out of the picture, casts its shadow.