Thursday, 8 July 2010

One fine day


Another sunny day.

For weeks now, I've opened the heavy bedroom curtains to brilliant sun.  This is our fourth summer in England, but the first time we've enjoyed such a long streak of fine, cloudless days.  My flimsy cotton dresses have been dragged out of the back of the closet; usually, they only get an airing when we holiday in warm places.

I love the heat of a proper good summer, but the gardener in me acknowledges that the ground could use a good soaking.  Nearly every night, I'm outside watering the borders until the light begins to ebb and I can feel the damp chill rising from the earth.


Three summers ago, when we planted the new border and the rose/herb beds, it rained and rained.  High summer is not, typically, the best time to put in new plants, but the weather conspired with my impatience.  Only the lavender, which hates being water-logged, really suffered.

This year the lavender is thriving . . . it must think it got transplanted to Provence.

For the first time, we aren't plagued by the black spot on the rose leaves.  But the trade-off is that the roses bloom and quickly brown and shrivel.  They come apart like an explosion of confetti when you touch them.  Last Thursday, when I was at Jane Austen's House, every gust of wind blew a shower of rose petals through the front door.  I kept looking for the phantom June wedding.


I suppose we are all influenced by seasonal rhythm and ritual more than we realize.  I still expect SUMMER to begin on that last weekend of May.  It feels strange to fret, in July, with early morning alarm bells, piano exams and school bags.  The high point of the summer has passed, and yet here we are -- still limping along, trying to adhere to a routine that has lost its relevance.  I'm sure that by the end of August I will long for routine again, but just now I'd like to lay in the grass and listen to the hum of insects.

The raspberry canes are bursting with fruit that no one has time to pick.

We need to spend a day in our pajamas . . . or bathing suits.  It seems a shame to run the sprinklers without some tow-headed child running through them.

Only one more day 'till summer vacation.

29 comments:

Dragonfly said...

I am in awe of your beautiful garden.

David Cranmer said...

".. we are all influenced by seasonal rhythm and ritual more than we realize." Well put and so true.

Absolutely beautiful garden.

Giulia said...

Yes, lovely garden. You are aware, though, that many of us are arriving & wishing that it was not the 5th (or more) day of over 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Shriek.

OK, I'll calm down. I am glad that you are wearing your summer dresses, that is always a good feeling.

Cheers

The Bug said...

Gorgeous garden! I REALLY want some lavender - it grows well in the middle of Ohio. Next summer!

spudballoo said...

Oh! New header...oh...wibble...where is the lovely wallpaper? Cry....but love that shot xx

Ah, how I adore your garden. Reminds me of being at your house about a year ago. And a post I wrote around this time last year about our garden and the the rhythm and flow of it all. Mmmmm.

xx

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, if only I could feel "the damp chill rising from the earth"! We are baking here. Truly.

Your garden is a picture. Just gorgeous, as only an English garden can be.

marja-leena said...

A lovely lovely garden! Lovely post.

Summer has suddenly arrived here with 32C (almost 90F) in our neighbourhood! Too hot for me and it's hard to keep up the watering, and I still haven't finished planting while waiting to pull out the early flowering things that are finishing. Anyway, happy summer!

Kelly H-Y said...

'An explosion of confetti...' ... what a perfect way to describe the way the roses fall apart at just a touch ... that very thing happened to me last night! GORGEOUS photos ... simply stunning!

Lisa said...

Boy, are we on the same wavelength today. Although - your writing is like song. Mine is like the tearing of paper.

Your garden is everything I imagine an English country garden to be. I sigh over it. A lot. The photos you show are amazing. Thank you for sharing them with us.

I hope you'll have those beautiful days as you seize the time away from the routine.

P.S. The lavender I brought from the old house to this one is finally thriving. Good drainage. I get it now.

Teresa O said...

Your garden looks so peaceful and lovely. It's been a hot, humid week here in the eastern half of the US and I'm ready for that cooling break rain often brings. Yet, I want the seasons to be what they're supposed to be.

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Bee

Love your garden! We are having a heat wave in Greenville, but rain should be here this week-end.

I hope you will have a wonderful vacation.

Best
Tracy :)

slommler said...

Beautiful garden....we are in full swing of summer vacation already!! And boy is it hot hot hot!! Very little rain to speak of. And we need it!
Hugs
SueAnn

elizabethm said...

It is wonderful to have a proper summer at last but my garden is longing for rain too. I love the absence of routine in the summer holidays. You describe it perfectly.

rachel said...

Oh, Bee, I'd better warn you now (you and some other wonderful gardening bloggers!) that you are going to get desperate cries for help from me as I move to a house with a real garden! On viewing day I noticed that the back lawn felt to the foot like lumpy concrete covered in harsh dry yellowed spikes of grass.....

Poshyarns said...

We still have over a week to go and the routine is trying us sorely. I absolutely long to spend each day stretched out lazily as children paddle, piles of books and long cool drinks by our sides. Fingers are tightly crossed for many splendid August days.

Such beautiful garden pictures, the scents must be wonderful.

Cait O'Connor said...

It is actually raining today in Wales which is a shame as I want to go out and garden. I could garden in the rain but have just straightened my hair and it always curls in damp weather :-)

Your garden is just beautiful as is your writing.

Polly said...

This really is a stunning garden, it must be so nice to experience the summer coming first hand, to actually see the small steps. I don't get to see that in the city... but it's Ladies Walk in Chilterns tomorrow, so I'll be discovering the nature in its full glory.

Lovely photos! That comment about rose petals and phantom wedding was so evocative, made me stop reading for two seconds

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

So pretty. That is the thing about England... you get to have the beautiful English gardens. We are experiencing rain showers here in central Texas for which I am thankful. We have just the right amount, no flooding as is occurring in south Texas. Enjoy your summer!

Elizabeth said...

Love the new header -- a delight.
Yes, very odd indeed not to be on vacation in July.
As a teacher July was like Saturday and August like Sunday with that awful dread lurking in the belly.....

Your garden is looking beyond wonderful.
I wonder if there are watering restrictions yet?
Claudia is visiting NY to get warm
but maybe she would have been hotter in England!

B said...

Your garden is wonderful no matter the weather! :) I just wrote a mini post about those lazy summer days from my childhood... it does seem unnatural and very, very wrong to have to work during the summer!

Marcheline said...

When can I move in?

Sara said...

Your garden is very pretty and full of color...I enjoyed gazing at the photos...so satisfying to the eyes.

Tessa said...

Swoon. You are a Bee, a most beautiful and bountiful one by the look of these exquisite photographs. I, too, spend the late afternoon watering our little garden - mostly filled with lavender and roses. (The only English plants I'm quite good at!)I love the sound of the water and the time to muse and listen to the birds singing their evening songs.

On a more somber note, thank you for visiting my blog last week. In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It then bursts into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be deeply thankful for those people who rekindle our inner spirit. And I am – so very thankful for the gentle and generous words you wrote for me on my ‘Stormy Weather’ post. Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine – and almost always because of friends. I’d love to send you a linocut I made to thank you and to celebrate the very special friendships we are able to create around the world via this amazing blogosphere. Please email me with a snail mail addy – I’ll have the picture matted and in the mail just as soon as I hear from you. xx

Anna said...

Bee beautiful garden. We are in the middle of high heats and humidity. My garden is only in the pots (only takes 5 min or less to water), but is growing really fast and big. Thanks for sharing your summer thoughts. BTW may be I am late, but this is very nice pleasant blog makeover. Anna :)

Lucy said...

It didn't take long living here to get used to the idea that there's no May half term, just a lot of public holidays, school is patchy and intermittent in June according to the exam schedule, then all of July and August are the hoiday months, to get very used to it and see it as the sensible way to do things. It always gives me a sense of surprise now when I realise British kids are still struggling on into July. On the other hand, you do get that nice first week or so of September's grace before having to go back I suppose.

I loved having the glorious sunny weather in June, it didn't seem as tired and jaded and sticky as when it comes later in the summer, and everyone seemed to appreciate it more. Now wind and rain and other odd things are strange but the watering is welcome - it may mean a big crop of weeds in a week or two though, when everything that went to seed in the drought gets watered!

Meri said...

Wonderful new blog banner. And your garden just dazzles!

Relyn said...

I am stunned again by your ability to paint such beautiful and complete images with words. Your talent makes me giddy.

Magpie said...

Your garden is lovely lovely lovely.

Jeni said...

what beauty... this reminds me of "The secret garden" :)! is there a bush maze?