No more bemoaning the cold and dark weather that we were 'enjoying' right up to the beginning of June - the last few days have been everything that June should be in England; hot days and balmy evenings filled with birdsong.
Working down by the pond - digging out clumps of variegated bamboo is tough!
I've been using the good weather to get a lot of jobs done - most of which have entailed getting filthy dirty down by the pond, since there is at least some shade down there. The plan is to fill the area around and behind the pond nearest to the summerhouse with all things white, to lend a lightness to the dark and hopefully look particularly lovely in the evenings. Unfortunately, the earth down there is still feeling the after effect of the flood here last month, so is still very damp, along with its usual intransigent stoniness and poor texture.
Rubbishy soil in more than one way - but the answer to that is just improve it! The first stages are to remove weeds, (creeping buttercup, ground elder and cow parsley) - the texture and nutrients will then be boosted with soil improver, manure and leafmould in good quantities.
In temperatures of up to 28C, you can understand why this has been hot, heavy and sticky work; fortunately, the summerhouse has been at hand for 'recovery' purposes - recovery helped considerably by harp, Spanish guitar and Bach on the CD player, many large glasses of chilled Indian Tonic Water and John Stefanidis' entrancing book 'An Island Sanctuary' about his home on the Greek island of Patmos.
The nearest Autumn Cottage comes to Patmos this week is the Mediterranean Terrace, where everything is filling out and flourishing; there is even the promise of a flower on my bargain Magnolia grandiflora bought last year - a fat bud has appeared, watch this space for future developments!
A 'lodger' - the pretty 'sea-pink' Thrift in a seashell pot, on holiday here while a friend moves house
Fat buds, flowers and seed heads already on the Terrace
Allium 'Purple Sensation' still looking wonderful, starting to set seed...
I hope you are all enjoying clement weather, wherever you are - further dispatches from the Home Front when I am not (happily) covered in dirt with a spade and fork in my hand!
Foxgloves peeping over the fence in the evening light - a balmy 'bonne nuit' from Autumn Cottage