Somehow it’s been ten days since I last posted. Life has been full with one thing and another. My internet life has been slowed down by computer problems, which are largely sorted now (knock on wood!). I have several batches of photos from excursions to show you, but haven’t had time to sort them and put them into posts. I will do, though.
Thank you all for your kind wishes about the Dafter. She is feeling a bit less rubbish these days, which we are all so grateful for. I’ve been taking her to appointments, and out to fun activities. Some room-tidying and cleaning has also been accomplished over the last week. The garden has given us armfuls of beautiful scented roses:
I have managed to tackle a few of those paperwork jobs that must be done but require a bit of courage. And I have begun assembling my New Leaf Cardigan, which I began at Christmastime in 2012! This too has necessitated calm resolve. It’s not the first time I’ve made a steeked cardigan (I’ve made at least three). But it’s the most complex I’ve ever attempted.
Fingers crossed it will eventually turn into a jacket and not a pillow or something like that! Do any of you knitters have suggestions for how to keep the hem from flaring out so much? I have blocked the main body already.
The weather has continued mostly cool and rainy. Sometimes very, very rainy – there were appalling flash floods in Perthshire a few days ago. My little rain gauge shows we have had nearly 6″ of rain since the first of the month.
Just in the past few days, the garden has been much more green than colourful. Not only is it quite bedraggled in the rain and the wind – lots of snapped stems – but it’s another in-between time. The roses have finished their first flush of blossoms, with another set on the way. Two kinds of poppies, and the nigella, are set to bloom but not yet in flower. The Japanese anemone and buddleia are also poised to bloom.
I am really pleased with the cerinthe, which I sowed directly in the ground:
The bees are still very busy in the garden. They particularly love the foxgloves, which have reached that rather comical stage of having flowers only on the tops of their spires:
I spent a very happy morning doing some music filing for the choirs that I belong to. I love having that little job. Unlike so much in life, it is possible to Sort Things Out rather easily!
We have also been preparing for a very special visitor, who arrived safely this morning. My dear friend Gay will be with us for a month. I’ve known her since we were 10 and regular readers will remember that she was a lifesaver when I had to deal with the aftermath of my father’s death this past November. The Dafter adores her, and she is the easiest houseguest ever. I’m sure we will have some more adventures that I can share with you.
I haven’t forgotten my project to follow the year with Katharine Stewart. On the 20th of July she wrote a beautiful description of an evening walk in a friend’s garden. “We reflect on the amazing balance nature has perfected. The frog, the ladybird, the bee, so many creatures are benefactors in a garden, working away quietly, minding their own business…
Strawberries always do well hereabouts. Some years ago a Cornishman grew them by the acre, along with raspberries and daffodils. He has gone but the daffodils survive, to cheer every spring. We wander past the Himalayan poppies, the Peruvian lilies, yellow loosestrife and blue geranium, which I recognise as old friends from my border, to a path of bark chippings, edged by the most glorious massed deep pink dianthus. …
I gaze into the ravine. The water foams white as it falls into smooth dark pools. The giant oaks overhang it with mystery. Druids must have been here. Today otters travel up this way to the hill-loch, fox and pine marten have their territories mapped. … It’s a garden after my own heart, full of sap and vigour, a haven for wild plants as well as wild creatures, with hidden corners and sudden, unexpected flowerings of shrubs and trees – lilac, bird cherry, rowan… I walk home slowly, breathing in the cool, dusk air. A few late swallows are flying high, forecasting another bright day.” (90-91)
The swifts (not swallows, a friend told me) were a common summer sight and sound in Aberdeen, but I’m not sure I’ve seen them here. It has been such a terribly wet summer, perhaps their numbers, as with other birds, are down. But I am very grateful for the silent workers in our city garden.
I hope you are all having a good week!