The Height of Summer

31-7-2020
After a rainy, grey morning, the sun has come out, bringing heat and letting all the summer colours shine brightly. Right now, garden work is not as urgent as in spring or autumn. Ongoing weeding is always a winner, of course, and excess growth can be cut back. But it can also wait for a bit. I’ve done an early round of seed collecting. The kitchen table is covered in bowls in which seeds dry out entirely before getting stored away for autumn sowing or for next year.
This time of year often seems like a standstill to me. It is summer, days are still long, nature is abundant. Usually a time to go on holidays or, more likely this year, to stay home and rest for a while. I’m in quarantine after short essential travels. I would have liked to go abroad to learn and practice more scything, but that will have to wait till next year. Instead, I walk in the garden and admire. I enjoy the deep blue colour of Agapanthus flowers, the stunning magenta of Gladioli, the lighter red/pink of Hollyhock. The many shades of green never cease to amaze me. I visit the Ligustrum often to sniff its rich summer scent. I let the garden look after me.
In truth, the standstill isn’t a standstill, of course. Days are not quite as long as they were a month ago, and the difference is visible. The odd yellow leaf is showing up on trees and shrubs that are still covered in lush green leaves. The sky is changing somewhat. Things are moving forward.

Agapanthus africanus / African Lily
Gladiolus communis / Field Gladiolus
Alcea rosea / Hollyhock
Richly-scented Ligustrum vulgare / Common Privet
Braeburn apple tree with ripening apple

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