It's July, the one month in the year when the gardener sits back in a comfortable garden chair in the shade of the old plum tree, enjoying the balmy summer air, glass of Pimm's in hand (or whatever summery drink lights your candle), the sound of a drowsy bumble bee ferrying its heavy load of nectar from blossom to welcoming blossom, the only discordant note being gardener pushing the mower across the daisy strewn lawn. He is, however, soon finished, and the pretty stripes he leaves behind make up for the temporary disturbance.
Look, missis, one hand!
Yes well, you wish.
This is England, where it has rained almost non-stop for months now, where the colour palette of the heavens goes from dirty grey to dark grey and black and back again. When Beloved spies a crack in the clouds and for a few seconds the gloom brightens to let a ray of light through, he shouts for me to come and bear witness. "Look, sunshine," he says, pointing to the apparition in the sky. He is still trying to persuade me that they have sunshine in the UK, "honest, we do".
Valley's End and fields under their usual cloud cover
She'll have to make do with the beauties of the landscape, what she can see of it under the permanent cloud cover.
Gardening is never dull, unless you give it up as a bad job. One is constantly battling nature and rarely, if ever, wins. I am going to create a new series of posts, A Year In The Life Of A Lady Gardener, perhaps once or twice a month, where I will tell it like it is, worms and caterpillars and pernicious weeds and all. There might even be the odd pleasant moment.
In the meantime, this is what I found written on a coaster sitting under a mug of tea in a friend's house:
If you want to be happy for a short time, get drunk,
happy for a long time, fall in love,
happy for ever, take up gardening.