The turning point of the year that is the Summer Solstice seems like a good point to take a literal, and metaphorical, snapshot of the garden and surrounding countryside. No matter how mild, cold, late or early Spring is, everything always seems to arrive at this point of the year at more or less the same time as it did last year, the year before and so on and so on. Before plugging in to the Matrix that is the internet and subsequently to my blog, I’ve kept (and still keep) a diary to jot down on a daily basis whatever was going on in the garden and its surrounds.
As I sit her typing this I can see a couple of blackbirds balancing precariously on the thin branches of the cherry tree just outside my window. Every year they help themselves to a lot of the fruit long before it’s quite ripe enough for me to pick and eat. I don’t mind too much; their need is greater than mine. Any that drop to the ground are polished off by the fox that slinks through the garden at dusk and dawn. I think her cubs have matured enough to have moved on now as I haven’t seen them around for a couple of weeks.
In the wider countryside, many of the native plants have reached their peak and are seeding like mad. The farmers around me are cutting what looks to be a good crop of hay, making the most of the continuous dry weather we’ve been having of late. This makes for a good hunting ground for the etherial barn owl that’s been drifting around the field margins searching for mice and voles.
In the garden, the roses are coming to an end, but many plants are in full flower, with more to follow over the next few weeks. The bees are still busy and are starting to gather under a smalled-leaved lime tree , drawn to the countless tiny flowers. If I stand underneath it I can hear a continuous murmering and humming which, curiously, makes for a very relaxing few moments.
On a more utilitarian note, I’ve been eating my first produce from the veg plot. I have peas, carrots, early potatoes and French beans. The tomatoes are flowering and the cucumbers are forming, so not long now before I get a taste of those. Even the apples are forming well already. I feel it’s going to be a good year for fruit this year.