Some changeable weather here over the last few weeks - firstly baking and burning, with the thermometer hitting 30C - then a plunge into heavy rain and a fall to 'chilly'. Cold enough for me to turn the Stanley stove on again last night after three weeks off. (In truth, this is as much for the heat of the stove itself, which I miss for its usefulness in drying off all sorts of items, more than the heating system it supplies, which is still turned off).
As you can see, this tempermentality of temperature has caused a leaf-fall around some of the trees, and a certain 'something' has definitely lingered in the morning air from the nights before for the last three days. Having placed a memorial candle outside the gate on Monday night, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the entry of Britain to World War 1, the stand and candle were soaked in unexpectedly heavy dew when I brought them in at 11 pm.
The candle at the gate - 9pm on 4th August 2014 - awaiting 'lights out' for a one-hour vigil at 10pm
But the sun still continues to shine more often than not - and when it does, it still has warmth enough to encourage the numerous butterflies which visit the buddleia bushes and other garden flowers - one of the best features of this time of the year. One or two Fritillaries have passed by - unfortunately not when my camera has been to hand - but mostly it is the Peacock butterflies which make this their port of call. This one below is visiting the darkest purple - and my most favourite buddleia of all.
Lets go on one of our strolls around the garden so I can show you what else is going on right now...
The Echinops is a great favourite of the bees...
Hydrangeas in pots outside the conservatory - they have liked the mild, wet winter very much
Over in the gravel garden, one of the best by-products of the free-seeding cottage garden plants - more litttle plants to pot up and share! These are Stachys lanata ('Lambs ears') and oregano.
And at the bottom of the garden, by the lower pond - my own little private 'Shed of the Year', (shall I enter the national competition next time?), which continues to give me much pleasure and has become a popular venue for heart to heart chats over a cuppa for adults, and a fine fairy-spotting place for Little Visitors!
There's a gathering of hearts - of the ceramic, tin and fabric kind...
...and a few 'heart-stones', picked up in the garden.
And finally, to remind me of the garden butterflies - here is a canvas, picked up yesterday for a song in a sale, which perfectly fits the space - in the summerhouse in summer, and during the winter, in my own heart, as I wait for springtime to return.