Every spring I forget, in my euphoria of the first flowers, how hot and dry my garden gets in the summer months. In my delight at the first signs of life in my garden – a yellow crocus, a snowdrop, an early tulip…
… I forget how everything starts to shrivel and singe in June, the lavender burning and the grass crackling under my feet.
The spring rain brings my garden back to life, and I forget the heavy – but all too short – summer showers trying to flatten peonies, lilies – or the Perovskia below…
And I suppress the fact that it will completely dry up in August – apart from the odd heavy rainshower. I forget, and happily sow my seeds, visit garden centres, weed and prune, divide and dream! My garden looks lovely in May and June, and then WHAM! Scorching sun and drought rapidly take their toll.
I take enormous pleasure in sowing the first seeds, tending them, and watching for them to germinate… almost jumping for joy when I see the shoots of a bean, or the parsley seedlings.
I love discovering something new every spring day, re-acquainting myself with old friends whose names I have almost forgotten. I enjoy potting up geraniums and herbs, and lose myself – gladly – in days of weeding. Joy at the poppies unfurling! Surprise at the rose’s first bloom…
… And wonder at the peonies, nodding their heavy scented heads in the May and June breezes. (And then WHAM! Scorching sun and drought …)
All that pleasure is there – if the gardener is too realistic she will deny herself all of that enjoyment, all of that therapeutic time spent with her hands in the dirt and the insects and birds fluttering over her head. So, like many of you, I will do the same next spring, and enjoy every single minute of it… (until WHAM! Scorching sun…)
August is the time for me to rethink…
The zucchini have got powdery mildew. My beetroot was either not sown deep enough, or the seedlings had the soil around them washed away in heavy showers in May. The mice left us just one handful of peas. (They were very nice!) The spinach bolted fairly early. Virtually all the flower seedlings I planted out – as well as the dahlias – were eaten by the snails.
The chard is almost ready for a third harvest, the beans are wilting but producing slowly, and the zucchini were plentiful for about four weeks. The rocket and salad leaves were amazing all through May, June and most of July. The pumpkins look promising, as long as the slugs and mice keep away.
And my basil is FABULOUS!!!
What on earth am I complaining about!