Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Summer solstice

All too soon, the longest day of the year is upon us. Just at the moment we realise we can be outside at ten in the evening and still see our way along the garden path without the aid of a torch, we turn the corner and the nights begin to draw in again. Of course, this picture of balmy June evenings is entirely fanciful – having spent most of the past fortnight utterly sodden, rainsoaked and windswept, there’s been little chance of pottering through the twilight garden, beaker full of the warm south in hand. A mad dash to the shed to shelter from the heaviest of showers has been more typical of late, but for all that, it’s been wonderful to seen the effect of the rain on our gardens, transforming them from parched spaces to verdant jungles within ten days.

But (dare I say it), this week looks brighter, and while today is undoubtedly a milestone in the year – and one with the faintest tinge of melancholy for those of us who crave every available photon of the day’s light – there are still the glories of the late summer border to look forward to. The dahlias and lilies, asters, cosmos and verbena, heleniums and rudbekias, agapanthus and montbretia – all old friends I can’t wait to meet again in a few week’s time.