We’re breathing a sigh of relief here today at the sight of blue sky. After what seems like weeks of non-stop rain, the clouds have finally parted and my Hero and I have spent a couple of hours in the garden tidying up and contemplating planting up a few pots. On this, the Summer Solstice, we have at last been able to open the doors, hang out the washing for only the second time this year and believe that yes, really, it’s the 21st June!
At this point, however, I will admit to having mixed feelings about the rain. We lost our “lawn” last year in the drought. It wasn’t really a lawn as such, but field grass brought under control through years of mowing and in amongst it was a great deal of moss, which is what went brown and didn’t grow back at all. So, whilst we were on our cruise in April/May, Simon was busy spreading some new topsoil (gardening on rock is part of the problem) and sowing some tried-and-tested drought-resistant grass seed.
Let’s say the frequent watering schedule (!) has worked wonders!
Now it’s come through so well, we’d like nothing better than to sit out there and enjoy the fruits of his labour! All the signs of the Summer are there: the lavender is coming into bloom and the philadelphus smells divine.
We just need a few more degrees and a drop of sunshine, preferably not the liquid kind, please!
Before I went inside, I noticed the wild strawberries which are taking over the whole of the kitchen border. Whenever I see them, I am reminded of my final teaching practice in Flaxton, a small village to the east of York. It was 1977, the Silver Jubilee summer and the children of this small, one-room school planned a picnic to celebrate. We sat outside on the village green and enjoyed a lovely afternoon - one of many similar summer days in idyllic surroundings. At the end of term, the children gave me a small Wedgwood dish with wild strawberries on it, to “remind me of country days spent with them”.
I still have it and I still think of them, though those children will now be in their 50s!
Sunny Summer days. More please.