We've had the longest dry spell this summer, with six weeks of no rain. I've been looking at the gardens drying out week after week, and as I only water new plants most of my borders have been looking sad. The plants that have put down deep roots have survived, but flowered sparingly or gone to seed early. Normally I have a sea of brilliantly purple Allium giganteum filling up the woodland garden at Humlegård, but this year they put on a bleak show before withering. I was all the more pleased then, that at the red house my 'new' statue border put on a fantastic display!
Lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis) dominate the scene with its neon-lime-green clouds of flowers. Because it is a great insect plant, and very tolerant of almost any conditions, I let it spread and on a summer like this it really is a trooper, filling in the gaps of flowers that sulk. My older peonies are putting up with the conditions and out in full bloom, but that is probably as their roots go deep and reach what moisture is left in the ground from spring. I'm glad I've let the field daisies self seed into the border, as they are happily flowering regardless of the constant heat. In the evening light, the heat is almost visible in the colours of the flowers and brings out a nice neon tinge.
Luna the cat is enjoying lazy summer days, and I almost feel like her. For me it is too hot to do much anything during the days, and in the evenings when it cools down I spend all my time watering the kitchen garden. For the first time in ages though, because it is too hot to be productive mid-day, I have been reading. My first book of the summer was Alice Vincents "Why women grow" which is a lovely long meandering musing on womanhood and gardening. The second book of the summer was Ivor Southwoods "Non-stop innertia" which is absolutely brilliant and a must read for anyone thinking about why we are all so stressed and tiered in todays culture of being performative labourers and consumer-citizens.
It has been amazing to find how much time I've had on my hands during these few weeks when my whole family has flown the nest. All the time I usually spend cooking and cleaning, washing laundry, shopping, doing random admin, caretaking... all thet time is now purely mine! So I don't feel bad about spending hours in the shade reading but marvel at the luxury of being single and child free. I still work of course, but all that other time left in a day is now spent on me. Watch out my loved ones, I might just get used to this...