Friday, 31 August 2012

Sing a song of seasons!

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the Summer
Fires in the fall.
                      R.L. Stevenson

The wettest summer since 1912 and as I write, the coldest August night on record. I went to open the greenhouse first thing and the lawn was sparkling in the early morning sun. It appeared almost as if there had been a frost overnight – perhaps there had. Anything seems to be possible in this quirky summer.

Some plants are thriving – see the gunnera in Durham’s Botanic Gardens for example. Originally from Brazil, it thrives in damp conditions and the huge, umbrella-like leaves, followed by large flower spikes, are a potential wonder to behold, whereas, sadly, the leaves on some of the trees there are already beginning to turn a lighter green - signalling an early autumn. 

Passion flower

But, amazingly, the passion flower in Pablo’s garden is still in flower, despite being of a delicate disposition. Curiously also hailing from Brazil, it is so named because discoverers of this exotic plant likened its parts to representations of the crucifixion, particularly the central column resembling the pillar of the cross. The flower was said to remain in bloom for three days to symbolise the three years of Christ’s ministry, but in reality each flower only lasts for one day.

Shade under the old apple tree
The left hand side of the garden still has gaps for yet more and different plants but is showing pleasing colour. Even my despised geraniums are welcomed now for they add pleasing daubs to the back of the shady border. 

Pablo disgruntled at waiting forever for the sun to shine

A massive autumn garden tidy is called for but as the weather people are predicting an Indian summer, prior to the worst winter since the Thames froze over in the 1600s, I plan to decamp to the summer house and enjoy the autumn sunshine - glass of wine in hand and Pablo on knee of course.


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