With the long winter, lack-lustre spring and late arrival of civil weather, the garden has been slow and drawn-out in reaching its annual climax for this year compared to last. This year, things have been late to flower, but seem to have lasted longer. The garden growth has been more sedate and measured rather than the free-for-all that I remember of last year, when it felt that I was constantly on the verge of having border outbreaks. It has been much more tempered this time around.
I would say the garden this summer is on a plateau, as opposed to a peak. Roses and delphiniums are at their best with the clematis and lilies close behind. There’s a much more gentle hand-off of flowering from one set of plants to the next instead of the “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” attitude of last year.
There’s no denying that the poor weather has had a bad impact on the growth and number of flowers but I don’t think I’ve done too badly.
The gradual build up to the plateau instead of the frantic peaking has also had an effect on me. As we get into the long hazy summer days, I’m being much more lazy in the garden than I have been all year, I should dead-head more than I do, should cut the grass more often, should water more and do this, that and the other, but you know what? I can’t be bothered.
The more gentle attitude of the plants has shown me how to have a break and relax a little. Perhaps that’s a terrible admission to make and sometimes, I do feel terribly guilty, but while the sun is here and the air is filled with the perfume of roses, lilies, mock-orange and jasmine, I think I will allow myself to sit and enjoy the garden as oppose to slave in it.