Last days of high Summer, July '13

So, here we are.

Last week of July, and what I consider high Summer. Now I know many of you are saying August is Summer too, which it is, but for me, August definitely has more of an Autumnal feel to it - nights are shorter and cooler, trees beginning to shed leaves and it's a time of harvest, etc.

Following on from a very cold Spring, we've had a mostly great late May and June, and an excellent July. Warm, sometimes hot, ground holding a lot of moisture since earlier in the year, and plants loving it.

I always remember meeting a chap visiting Ireland from the U.S. in the early '90's telling me about how plants grow in his garden (I think he was from the mid-west), and the very cold Winters he had followed be a cool Spring and then a hot Summer, and the herbaceous plants that grew starting at almost nothing in April to a fantastic display by June, 6 weeks or so. Then he talked about how early Autumn was warm and turned cold very quickly, and how he used straw (to waist height over the flower beds) to protect his plants from severe minus temperatures.

That's what this year reminds me of. Going from cold to warm/ hot so quickly and herbaceous plants loving it. Even with the thunderstorms this week and flash floods, we will remember 2013 as 'a good one'.

As for our incoming Autumn? Well, I haven't thought too much ahead.

I am savouring these final few July days, enjoying the company of family and friends, eating outdoors whenever we can, and, when the time comes, we can smile and say a couple of words of thanks for the time we've shared so far this year.

As for our busy busy lives, well
take time, maybe a moment or two over the next few days, to pause, breath in your July surroundings and then, as we do, carry on.

Oh, by the way, the plant in the photograph is one called Hemerocallis 'Crimson Pirate'. It was delivered to me through the post from a nursery called Pollies Daylilies (well worth visiting their website). It produces delightful large crimson flowers and I was honestly surprised to see them this year, not them before expecting 2014. What a great surprise!

Happy gardening.