As the march of the sun up the sky comes momentarily to a rest above us, before beginning its slow journey back down, it is turning out to be rather a strange June as far as the weather goes.
Some days are cold, damp and grey, often punctuated by showers; sometimes the sun breaks through for an hour or an afternoon; and every now and then there is a rare day of wall-to-wall sunshine followed by a languid summer’s evening. We seize as many of the long dry evenings as we can to spend in the garden, trying to overtake the merciless march of weeds in the vegetable garden; sowing, tending and planting out crops. One cool dark evening, I conceded my efforts as the heavy air seemed to hum with impending rain; although I couldn’t help but admire the clouds as I retreated, woven strips of grey silk that flowed across the sky.
The bees seem undeterred by the winds, which have ransacked the garden and left the once-perfect mounds of Geranium x magnificum splayed helplessly awry.
Their sprawled stems still drone with the industry of dozens of bees, even as mischievous gusts of wind make landing a fine art. The garden does seem rather full of bees; the raspberries vibrate with them, while they can usually be found emerging from the deep bells of the foxgloves, or busily foraging among the mountain cornflower blooms.
While the statuesque globes of Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ are waning now, their petals lost and seed beginning to ripen, the baton has been passed to the next wave of ornamental onions: the blackcurrant majesty of Allium atropurpureum.
Sweet williams are also getting into their stride in a lovely array of pinks and whites, while the white pinks are coming into bloom (I must confess that the concept of ‘white pinks’ does always make me smile: I believe ours are Dianthus ‘Mrs Sinkins’ ). In general, while we long for a run of warm sun-filled days, the garden seems to relish the cooler mixture of sunshine and rain; everything pushing up lush and tall – especially the lawn!
In the greenhouse, the first fruits have set on our tomatoes, while the cucumbers are also in flower, so we can look forward to harvests in the not too distant future. My chillis and aubergines are quite behind this year, though – I sowed them late, and the cooler temperatures have given them a rather measured pace – unlike the radishes outside, which are cropping fast and furiously!