Monday 22 August 2011

The edge of season

August nears it’s end and panic begins, like standing on a haystack preparing to jump, the inevitability of summers end freezes me to the spot, though as we are pushed over the edge and fall into Autumn, we realise the landing is never that bad.

This year the garden marked time has toyed with the senses, colour upon colour, growth over growth, playing tricks with the seasons, or is that the other way round?

There have been many times when I thought it had reached its crescendo, impossibly full with flowers so bright they seemed like they were going to ignite, holding this moment of pristine pressure before exploding only to grow phoenix like from the green embers.

Today is such a day, Delphiniums tall, blue and so bold rising from the fiery Crocosmia, their rigidness softened by the pinks and whites of the waving Gaura. The cape daisies whose pallor had so worried me in the spring, have flaunted my doubt by flowering and flowing through uncharted parts of the garden.

The vim and vigour of some of the plants has tested my own vitality, chopping, clearing and mourning only to see them happily rise from the dead.

The Crocosmia's life force is so strong that even the sections that I cruelly left sat on the path after dividing them early in the season have grown and flowered. 

The Black Knapweed has been around since early spring, growing and growing with only burnt bobbles to show on every stem for what seemed like an age and as I couldn't remember planting them my interest was tinged with disappointment, until early summer when they erupted with a thousand purple explosions that refused to be extinguished for weeks.

However, all good things must come to an end so with a certain sadness I cut the darkening leaves and stems down, only to find two weeks later that the pyrotechnics have begun again.

With all of this rebirth and re-growth it is probably time for me to review my strategy and take a running jump rather than waiting to be pushed.

Thursday 4 August 2011

Thank you days

I just had to share a day with you

Of late I’ve been stressed out, let down and generally blurred of life, but yesterday I had one of those glorious moments where life’s lens comes into focus, giving a picture that should be framed and mounted in the mind.

In colourful calmness to the building site that is still the back of my house, the beauty of the blooms in my little garden drinking in the sun on a roasting morning took my breath away.

This tiny patch of Lincolnshire hummed, whistled and clip clopped with absolutely everything taking advantage of what can be truly called a beautiful summer’s day.

The gladioli that I planted in stages way back in the spring have begun to flower and become tall bright highlights and a very welcome addition to the back of the border.

Since I cut the tired looking foliage away, the delphiniums have got a second wind as have the centaurea, providing the ever hungry bees with some fly through fast food stops. My thistly plants have also grown into a spiky delight with echinops and teasals looking like lanky punks with backcombed crazy coloured hair. 

The buddleja, which at one point did seem to be taking its time, has burst into flower all around the gardens, bringing with it the usual abundance of butterflies and the new hydrangea, which was looking extremely sickly earlier in the year, has perked up after a garlic tonic and a seaweed feed,  rewarding the attention with a beautiful clusters of pinkie blue flowers.

I also finally got round to doing something I'd been threatening to do for months and mended the puncture on my bike, meaning I could carry on enjoying the loveliness of the day from the vantage point of my bicycle.

I wanted to ease myself into the cycling world so limited my self to 10 miles or so, ensuring the journey allowed a bit of gentle off road action as well as the undulating country lanes.

It was early evening by the time I got saddle-wise, which is always a great time to meet ourselves and other animals and last night didn't disappoint.  There was the usual sad site of magpies and jackdaws, machet-ing through the abundance of roadkill, but I did have a close encounter with a dawdling deer that was nonchalantly making its way towards me along the verge. 

I got close enough to admire it's graceful supermodel proportions before this beautiful animal turned into a creature of taught tendon, sinew and spring and leapt over the hedge to be swallowed by the corn.

While on the off road section of the trip, I disturbed a controversy of curious crows that took cackling and calling to the blue sunset streaked sky above the golden wheat field in a scene that was so Van Gough painting it was almost a cliché.

In contrast to these rowdy show offs, I literally cycled next to a barn owl that was quietly navigating the hedgerows. This silent spirit of a bird seemed to be either so engrossed in its labour or took my puffing and wheezing as sign that it could probably walk faster than I was managing at this point and so not a threat, paid no attention to me, finally floating across the road to take up position in a near by tree to observe me on my sweaty way.

Just as some days are sent to test us I think some are sent to thank us.