Wednesday, 23 July 2014

High Summer

It’s hardly credible,
a very rare year,
but summer continues.
Temperatures in the mid to high twenties,
little or no rain except for the occasional thunderstorm,
bringing ever more sticky conditions,
and a garden which threatens to burst its borders.
There’s no way I am going out to work in it.

Garden gates are overgrown,

roses flourish 

as do herbaceous borders.


Behind this window lies the coolest room in the house.

I am finding it very hard to keep my cool; 
between lunch and tea it’s siesta time, and I do as little as I can.

High Summer is here with its languors and absence of stimulus; it's rather difficult in these drowsy, breathless days to keep the flag of high-minded culture and meaningful employment
flying strongly from Sleeping Beauty’s bower.

Believe me, 
I realise that for many of you these would be pleasantly balmy days;
but do take into account that, in normal summers, 
I wear rubber boots (wellies) and mackintosh,
and that a run of weeks of good weather 
is an enormous shock to the system. 

complaining about the weather is the national sport.


  1. Rampant English Garden, although not the Gardeness, it seems. Pimms, anyone?

  2. Anything above 75°F (24°C) is too hot for me.

  3. Lovely is unseasonably hot and dry here too - the 'little summer' fortnight has been and gone and still we have temperatures in the thirties in the afternoon and no rain.....when it is supposed to be bucketing it down!
    Dark mutterings about El Nino, getting the hose out in the evenings and pressure to drink more wine to extend the number of bottles available to be filled with water for the balcony watering.....
    Hard life for gardeners, isn't it!

  4. I gather my winter equals your summer, or at least our mild winters.

  5. Tell yourself you have paid a kind's ransom to be in some tropical paradise, then imagine yourself there as you rest with eyes closed! That's how I ended up here. One never knows. . .

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= <3

  6. Your roses are beautiful, as are your borders - and I don't blame you one bit for hiding behind that window.

  7. Well, whatever else may be the case, the photos of your garden are glorious. At our place, what passes for a garden is a total mess. But of course we have been gone for three weeks straight, so we could hide behind the scrim of that, but it would have been the same had we been here. London was certainly HOT, and I gather continues to be so. The hottest day of all was that on which I went to The Proms. Since I didn't know my way and I was late (tube delay), I had to sprint and dripped with perspiration the whole way through the concert. At least I made it; I was one of the last to arrive and did so as Sir A. Davis was raising his baton!

  8. Your garden is such a lush delight. Mine is a sodden mess, what hasn't been frost bitten. I wonder where the perfect place might be?

  9. I like the way you have combined plants ans summer weather.

  10. I'm drooling over your garden, Friko. Are those spires Delphinium? I couldn't figure out why one of my delphinium wasn't as high as the other 2 (yes, I only have 3). When I went to look, I saw a plant that had been sheared straight across - by deer I suppose - all the buds gone. I'm just hoping that all my perennials bloom before frost which will come sometime in August.

  11. What you think as over-grown, we think as beautiful, natural, and a wonderful garden. I understand staying inside when the heat is overwhelming as high temperatures and humidity zap our strength. My gardens are not as well cared for as other years, but I still enjoy all the loveliness that Mother Nature has bestowed on us.

  12. What a beautiful garden! With glorious summer weather to match! It doesn't get any better. Now here in blazing is 7 p.m. and still 108, down from 110. It's also humid with a thunderstorm rolling in. But complain about the weather? Oh, it's not done around here -- and air conditioning helps a lot. I often wonder how my paternal grandparents, who died long before I was born, could stand to live here in the days of Victorian dress and no a/c!

  13. Your garden takes my breath away. When it was subzero for weeks on end this winter I said, "No matter how hot it gets, I will not complain about the weather. I may observe, but not complain." But my only complaints have been "where is the warm of summer?" Beautiful days, but cool. Still, I don't think I should want it as warm as you are experiencing -- especially with a garden to tend. And oh, what tending it must require. You have such a gift. I'm so glad you share it with us.

  14. Oh your garden is beautiful. And you're right.. to me, that weather is perfect. Just keep cool and enjoy.

  15. At least one colony imported the weather complaining habit. Canadians do likewise. Our temperatures have cooled considerably and I wore a sweater in the house all day. Drizzly rain is good for the gardens.
    I say your garden is lush and beautiful, enjoy the wild abundance.

  16. Actually, not quite that rare - remember last year? I was in Yorkshire during a heat wave, with temperatures climbing to 29 Celsius; I walked in dry riverbeds and did not need my little brollie at all, not one single drop of rain fell during my entire holiday!
    The picture with the garden gate is of heart-tugging quality for me.
    34 Celsius here last Saturday. People complain about the heat - but it is July, after all, and that's the way it should be in this area.

  17. Loving your garden. But you can keep the temperatures. We are in the midst of winter - and I am LOVING it. Summer makes me a sad, soggy (and grumpy) mess. Gardening happens at first light - or not at all.

  18. "Castle Moat"

    Hehe, I love it!!

  19. It hit 50 C here today (122 F). Things don't grow here in summer; they die.

  20. Geweldig wat een heerlijke tuin dit is genieten.

  21. Ha,ha - are you also part Maritimer for here in the Maritimes, our most talked about pastime is the weather n "how ya doin' ? Our summer temps have been much like yours with temps reaching 100 or more most days, when our summers are most comfortable at 70-75 as they were in the past. WE might have had a hot 82 a few times during the summer, but for only one day. I am not at all comfortable with temps of 100 or more. I put my helmet on to go for a bike ride and already I feel the sweat trickle down my face before I have even turned on the bike. Bushes are flourishing, plants are dying (annuals). Garden is doing well, with everything growing faster than usual with the heat wave. I find here in the Maritimes we have 3 weeks of hot, humid weather in July and its like someone throws a switch the first of August and everything drops back to normal. There is definitely something weird going on with our weather and the weather all over the world. WE have had 3 major floods in the past 4 years and there have never been floods here in all my life?? We have NEVER experienced the wrath of a hurricane and we had one pass through two weeks ago. It seems our planet doesn't want to be abused any more and is fighting back for its life, from a lifetime of abuse by most humans. OOps, getting a little side tracked here - just wanted to say that I love your garden and roses along the wall - just wonderful growth and oh, so pretty.

  22. Your last comment reminds me of farmers in the Midwest's either too wet or too dry or the prices for crops are too low. The garden is breathtaking, and I would love to visit the room behind the vines with the little window. Thanks for sharing your garden.

  23. Friko, it does seem as if your part of the world is having a summer to remember. When I look at your fine photographs in the post, my mind wanders to storybook land. These are settings that give rise to tales of children, and talking animals, perhaps even princesses, adventures, obstacles to be overcome, rescuing heroes and fairy godmothers, maybe even magic.

    Or perhaps a murder mystery. So many possibilities!


  24. I think that even *overgrown* can be beautiful...
    Love that first pic!

  25. Siesta time here between noon and five too. I thought I was just getting old, but as much as I love the sunshine - afternoons are definitely spent in the cool.

  26. From where you sit it may look overgrown; but from here it looks beautiful! Anyway, it's good to complain about the weather -- it stops us from complaining about our spouses!

  27. Ahhh!!!
    As Tom says, from where we sit, your place looks so English to us, and so appealing.
    Enjoy the siesta.

  28. We talk about the weather endlessly. Hasn't it just been the best spring/summer for years? I shouldn't have said'll all be over now the school holidays have started!

  29. It's gloriously bright and sunny ... such a welcome change from the usual grey gloom
    But my tomato plants have gone quite crispy .

  30. It's national sport here too Friko, and I'm up there with the best of them complaining. Well, not at the moment but when summer approaches the northern tropics the whining will start.
    I love your garden (I don't have to look after it) and the third photo I thought was quite brilliant with that tease of vista in the upper part of the photo. I wanted more!
    May the coming weekend cool down a bit for you.

  31. Can you hear my tiny violin playing in the distance? If I had a yard like that I would do more photos.

  32. I totally agree with you. High 20s would be mid 80s over here and then I'm dying in the thick, sticky air. I know other places have it in the 100s--oofta! We just had a couple days of 95 (35 for you) and I could barely stand walking down to get my mail. You sweat not moving. At least summers are brief here and it will be snowing again soon--ahhh! ;) Weather discussion is a national sport over here, too.

  33. Is all of that your garden?
    It's gorgeous!!
    Stay in that "coolest room in the house"

  34. Oh, Friko, what a disastrous mistake I made logging onto your blog. I am now various shades of green with envy.

    Your garden not only appears huge, it's a beauty. One of these days ...

    Inner city greetings, only saving grace being that it is so close to the coast there is a cooling breeze, says she whilst wiping the odd pearl of emerging sweat from her brow,

  35. We must all have our challenges. It seems lush around here too. At least you don't reside in a neighborhood of hooligans who rip down street sounds on drunken weekend orgies, cut native trees to the ground without regard for neighbors, or generally disregard civility. Inner city woes compare unfavorably with the evening news, however.

  36. Your garden appears to be thriving in the weather. We have had a week of cool and rainy -- unusual for us in July but so welcome..

  37. There's a kind of madness to this post.

    I like.

    Very much.


  38. I'm afraid my gardens are a mess this year. Between the heat and the horrific mosquitoes (everyone says it's the worst summer for them they recall), my outside time is more limited than I'd like. And soon we'll be back to snow and cold ... You can see where I am ...

  39. Your garden is looking wonderful and I can guarantee that the weather will break soon as the schools are now on holiday.

  40. Hi Friko - it's been an amazing summer - just now we're unwinding under the tail end of Hurricane Bertha's winds ... but it has almost been too hot for anything much ..

    The garden looks amazing - just a blaze of glory ... toned with delightful greens ... cheers Hilary


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