Summary of a summer

Sunday 8 September 2013

It’s been a while … months since I last added any ‘news’. I wanted to add the summary of a summer, via a few photos (enlargeable).

View of the middle part of the garden, from the kitchen window, taken a few days ago. Red dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ most prominent in the middle, and white Nicotiana sylvestris to the left.

The middle part of the garden, 1 August, with a young blackbird on the feeder on the table. There were three or four around the garden this summer, noisily demanding food and grabbing cherries off the tree.

Garden view: July, the short distance ‘across the pond’ near Woodland Corner to the middle bit with the chair positioned to catch morning and midday sun.

Looking from the window towards Woodland Corner, July

Sweet pea ‘Matucana’. In the past I’ve grown them from seed, but this year bought young plants online, from Sarah Raven.

Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ with purple delphinium behind.

Monarda (unsure which variety) with blue Veronica longifolia.

The veronica, bought many years ago after seeing an impressive clump of it in Helmsley Walled Garden, is a favourite with the bees, and has been covered with busy bees all summer.

We’ve had a good summer, a warm and dry one, for once, and seems to have been a good one for bees and other insects. The garden has been full of busy small creatures flying about. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many bees. Here’s one on a globe thistle.

Here’s two on a globe thistle flower. Very popular with bees, clearly.

Four bees, all busily working their way around.

And on the sunshine yellow Inula hookeri.

Years ago, sometime between 1996 and 2001, I brought a small piece of this plant back to York, on the train, from my sister’s garden in Northampton. A rather tiny piece, shoved in a bag with a bit of compost. Now it’s a massive clump vigorously spreading itself further. Here all bright and perfect, in late July.

It’s been a proper summer, hot weather day after day. We’re really not used to that.

At the end of it, thinking about the garden, I remember mainly the bees, and the way our old cat (about 19 years old now) made her way downstairs every day to the garden, to curl up in the sun under the blue veronica.

Green leaf