This post is overdue but we've been so busy here with various commitments and appointments that time has flown by! It's good though to get this summery post up just before the schools break up for summer, which is always in my mind the true height of all things summer. This year, summer will be different, as we have the great unlocking but that comes with a lot of uncertainty around variants and rates of infection. Some people are evidently fed up with the long period of restrictions and want things to be as they were before, but there are others who are understandably a bit nervous about it all. We have been gradually doing a bit more but we'll continue to wear masks in public places.
As I write this, we are starting to get a heatwave. I put out the washing earlier and it was definitely feeling much warmer out there than it was earlier on. The garden is going through yet another change now as the spring flowers have faded, though due to a very cold April and washout May, the flowers are definitely later this year, so we had some tulips blooming in June and our roses have only just started coming out in July. It's been a very late start for our dahlias and sweet peas too and our veg growing is not great this year, as we focused more on getting the garden finished (it's very nearly there now) and also planting up the beds with longer term perennials, shrubs and trees. What veg we have tried (runner beans and sweetcorn) was massacred by slugs and snails, though we did get some replacement runner bean plants from a garden centre to try again. The beds are starting to look more knitted together now as they mature, though some of the newer beds and the bank at the end of the garden will take a couple of years to grow and look more established. We have largely stuck to our plans, though a shortage of timber has led us to compromise on our ideal fence around the large patio as we had to buy trellis instead, but we think it will look nice with some climbers grown up against it. We should also be getting a bespoke garden gate built soon (our talented neighbour who built a section of our fence and has also built a chicken coop and a sauna from scratch, kindly offered to build this for us). Hopefully it won't be too long till the garden is fully finished now, in terms of structure anyway, as it will always evolve planting wise.
I spend a lot of the hot days in summer trying to keep cool and stay hydrated. I always stay in the shade, wear SPF and a hat and sunglasses. I'm not a sun basker, more of a shade one! Ice in drinks is a definite at this time of year. I remember Slush Puppies as a kid and freeze pops, Mr Freeze at our local newsagents were really popular in summer, I loved the blue raspberry flavoured ones. My Dad is over in Portugal now and the heat there is easily ten degrees over what we have now, it can reach the low forties in the summer months!
Summer is also a time of choosing a great beach read book or just a good book in general. I'm reading a fab book at the mo called The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris, which is set in the New York publishing world and the characters and mystery surrounding them is so compelling. It's actually an e-library read and if you are a member of your local library then most of them have e-books you can borrow through various apps, so check out their websites to find out more.
The colours I associate with this time of the year are golden yellows that reminds me of different tones of sunlight and sand, the blues and teals of water and sky and all the burnt oranges, peach and purples of blazing sunsets.
What connotations and memories does the season of summer evoke for you? Let me know here or on Instagram.