July in the Territory of Rain

The stock bed in my garden has hit its stride, and is full of colour and joy. I’ll be harvesting marigold flowers, poppy seeds, lemon verbena, mint and yarrow, and taking cuttings of anything I can manage over the next week.

And in the woodland bit, which is usually quiet at this time of year, I found this – it’s a broad-leaved helleborine, supposed to be rare this far north, but surprisingly common on roadsides in the Central belt. I found it n the car park of our local retail estate three years ago. It seems quite a privilege to have it actually in our garden!

There’s also this little patch of artistic calendula, from a packet of Sarah Raven seeds. It makes a good picture, and I think it will be just as effective as the old-fashioned kind, but I haven’t really warmed to them. From now on, I’m sticking to the traditional pot marigold, blazing like August on cloudy days.

The garden is full of bees, and for the first time in three years, I’ve seen honey bees. All the birds in the garden have finally fledged, though I am paying the penalty, as I’ve lost all the redcurrants and strawberries. Across the river, I saw a brood of housemartins safely fledged but still lining up along a roof to be fed, without the usual harassment from the gulls.

I have disappeared into an editing black hole, with one pamphlet done and an anthology and a full collection to go, but the manuscript of Haggards is finished, and I hope to be sending it away next week. And we are in the middle of work being done on the house, so nothing is in the right place, and I am looking at all the stuff and wondering how I managed to acquire it all and what I ever thought I would use it for. There’s going to be a cull of baking tins and kitchen gadgets at the very least!

 

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