Friday, 10 August 2012

How Many Summers Make a Year?

Outside my back door the sun is shining, and the garden is baking under a blue sky. The plants have put on sudden growth with the warmth after the wet, and the borders are rapidly turning into miniature jungles, seeding themselves and spreading new roots into the grass and between the paving slabs. Escapee strawberry runners sprawl beneath the flowering plants, tall spires of gladioli push their way through the foliage around the buddleia which is just bursting into froths of purple flowers. Marjoram, purple toadflax, and scabious flowers throng with bees, and butterflies dance around the phlox. Roses stand tall and stately above the riot of faded geranium blooms, new buds and wild flowers. In the lawn, birds-foot-trefoil buzzes and quivers with bumbling bees. Bright pink anenome flowers, taller than their neighbouring plants, nod gently in the breeze.
Even with my eyes tightly shut, I can sit on the garden bench and know it is August; that late summer cut grass smell - distinctly different from the first cut of spring, the scent of phlox and honeysuckle in the evening air mingling with BBQ smoke, a cool misty-ness to the early morning, and for the first time in what seems like many months, the gentle sweet twittering of the robin returning to the garden after its summer moult.
There is dead-heading of faded flowers to be done, and seeds to be sown, dandelion clocks to blow and grass to trim. But I find I am reluctant to move from my shady spot, to disturb the bees that hum in the flowers or break the peace and quiet. The untamed woolly-ness of the borders can be spared the cut of the secateurs for another day, for in early afternoon, when the sun is at its hottest, it is time to sit back with a glass of something cold, or a pot of tea and enjoy summer with all the senses.

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