Sun’s up

Sunlight through leaves, making patterns on the kitchen wall. It would be brighter but the wall is painted a pale apple green. When there was a partial eclipse a few years ago the light hitting the wall turned into increasing crescent moon shapes as the Moon passed in front of the Sun. This time of year, before the autumn sets in, there is a lot of shade from the trees in the garden. The pear tree is casting most of the shade on the wall, and a few pears have started to fall as the morning temperature reduces. I can almost feel a chill in the air this morning.

Soon it will be the vernal? Equinox, when the day and night time are in balance in the Northern (and also Southern) Hemispheres of the Earth. That is when both day and night are exactly 12 hours long. Soon the days here will shorten, whilst they grow longer in the south. I hope the nights are not too cold, I would like the leaves to stay on the trees as long as possible. I always feel sad when they become skeletal in the winter and the long wait till spring comes round again drags on. I miss my flowers as they wilt and fade, and I find it harder to motivate myself in the dark days of winter. But that is a while away yet, so I will enjoy what is left of the summer while I can.

Garden in sunshine

A less blurry shot of the yard. People asked me why its not as dried out? I think we have a microclimate. The yard is enclosed by bushes and the houses. The sun comes round in the afternoon but doesn’t stay on it for too long because we are on the ‘wrong’ side of the hill so it gets shady at East an hour before sunset. I also think because there’s a wall and we cram plants together everything stays moist. I have trouble drying my washing because it gets quite humid. Also because I put one hanging basket under another when one gets watered it flows through to the bottom one. And as they are underneath they are a bit more protected from the hot sunshine. Each pot has a bowl or a saucer underneath to catch and keep the water and I make sure each pot has crocks or broken polystyrene in them so the roots don’t get swamped.

Hidden passion flower

Deep in the jungle of vegetation that is our back garden are a few passion flower plants. They were coming into bud over the last few days and at last one has flowered! It’s sitting next to a fushia plant and is on the ground. Another one is trained up the downpipe to the guttering and a third is trained along the trellis fence above the wall. The only worry is the hot weather and lack of water. We have been using a hosepipe but that is likely to be banned soon. That’s part of the reason why I hang the hanging baskets one above the other.. It drops through and waters the one below too..

I want thunder and lightning!

I want the skies to darken, the winds to rise, I want a swirling storm, dancing leaves. Gusts and gales and the patter of heavy raindrops! I thought we were having that earlier but realised it was water pattering down on the kitchen roof from the hose! Instead of watering the plants he was watering the roof! He thought it would cool the air. Its 15°C cooler today than yesterday! We need relief for humans and the countryside. But not just here, worldwide. The trouble is its not just one country suffering.

Thunderstorms were forecast but haven’t happened yet. I’m watching www.http://blitzortung.org to see where the storms are. They seemed to be concentrated around France and Switzerland earlier on…..

Weight on the fence.

The trouble with attaching hanging baskets to the fence is that as they grow and get heavier with watering it starts to bend. It’s quite a strong trellis but I think it will need replacing in a couple of years.

The wall the fence is attached to is the same old bricks the house is made of with curved coping stones on the top to keep moisture out of the centre of the wall.

Each basket has many different plants crammed in them, then there are a series of smaller baskets with single species in them. There are individual pots balanced on the top of the wall and lots of them on the ground below. Planting up pots requires a balance of compost with crocks (broken pottery) in the bottom of the pots so they have drainage, but then I usually place a saucer or a bowl underneath to catch the water so that it doesn’t dry out. We have a hose pipe so we can water everything regularly.

It might rain

The skies gone a dirty grey brown colour and the forecast is for heavy rain showers or even thunderstorms. The sun won’t be setting for at least another hour, but as they say round here ‘its gone dark over Bill’s mums!’ in other words it’s going to rain soon! In fact as I write this I can hear raindrops drumming against the window. It did try and hail earlier on and there were little grains of ice on the car windscreen.

Watching Wimbledon

I mustn’t watch. The players I support seem to lose when I watch them! If I listen its OK, but if I see the shots… Well it’s something that seems to happen. I have my favourite tennis players, but I’m not obsessed with the game. I wouldn’t go and watch it live.

Wimbledon is the epitome of summer in the UK. Strawberries and cream at exorbitant prices. At least one day of heavy rain which ‘stops play’, injury and tantrums. I still remember watching the McEnroe game where he shouted at the umpire ‘you cannot be serious’ when a shot of his was deemed to be ‘out’ (outside the playing area) and he had lost a point ( game/set/match)?

I saw Andy Murray win a few years ago, so I can’t really be jinxing them. But although I love the game I do have things to do!

PS, both the people I watched lost!

Green back yard

I have been potting on little plug plants again today. Fushias, lobelia, French marigolds, antirrhinum, trailing geranium and other plants. The garden at the side of the house is full of trees but the back yard is my domain. It is already full of Welsh poppies, a few small strawberry plants, small tomato plants, raspberries and other random plants. It’s getting quite like a jungle! I’m now waiting for a few hanging baskets I’ve ordered. I love my annual riot of colour!

Cloud scape

This swirl of cloud was visible from our back door tonight at 9pm British Summer time. We have had strong winds and hefty showers all day. Some plants have been a bit battered, especially the trees that are now in full leaf. The white line across the bottom is a condensation trail from a plane. I don’t know what the type of cloud is, I think it might be a type of Cumulus? I love the way the setting sun was catching the side of the cloud and a few seconds before proper sun rays were shining upwards from behind the roof of our neighbours house.