I almost forgot to post this this week. Better late than never!
Sunday 28th June – The weather begins to break. A little cooler and more cloudy. The sea is grey and clouded from our window, the horizon pale and luminous. Later in the day mist rises from the woods on Trow Hill and the air feels heavy and saturated. Headachey.
Monday 29th June – Yesterday’s gloominess has lifted and there are blue skies and a fresh breeze. We take a walk up onto the cliff gardens and find a sheltered spot to enjoy the sun and keep out of the wind. It’s still very peaceful here, but soon the tourists will arrive and our lockdown quiet will be gone. No more lunch takeaways from the garden cafe, the seats will be full and there will be more people around. Too many for us. We shall reschedule our walks to earlier in the day and keep away from the gardens. We shall enjoy being out of doors just as much.
Tuesday 30th June – Rain all night and all day. The parched garden will be drinking it up. We put all the pot plants from the conservatory outside for a drink and a wash and tidy them up generally. They look very much better for it. In a break in the rain I pick the first mange-tout peas, crisp and juicy, they lift tonight’s salad into something rather lovely. This evening it feels cold, almost cold enough for the heating. Cold enough for a blanket over the legs instead. No birds to be seen all day.
Wednesday 1st July – July is the month our Anglo-Saxon ancestors called Heymonath or Mead monath, the first referring to haymaking and the second to the flowering of the meadows. Sadly, there are precious few flowering meadows around now. Years ago July would have seen our countryside a kaleidoscope of flower-rich meadows and grasslands that were an intrinsic part of our farming landscape. Over 97% of our flower meadows have been lost since the 1930s, that’s 3 million hectares or 7.5 million acres, and just 1% of the UK’s land area is species-rich grassland. Even with this staggering amount of loss, a meadow is still a crucial habitat with often over 150 different species of flower and grass that support a whole eco-system of insects, small mammals and birds. You can contribute to the making of meadows by supporting the National Trust’s Meadows appeal here and by involvement with Plantlife, take a look here. Also, Saturday 4th July is National Meadows Day. I don’t ‘journal’ on Saturdays usually which is why I’m mentioning it here. Anyway, it’s much nicer than Stupid Saturday and rushing to the pub, as far as I’m concerned.
Thursday 2nd July – Cool and windy. All day. We’ve had a 12 degree drop in temperatures from last week, no wonder I’m feeling the cold. The birds don’t like it either, they’re not hanging around the garden for long. The blackbird is all alarm calls and tossing leaves around under the camellia. The young birds – greenfinch, goldfinch – are fluffed up and still doing that furious wing flapping thing, asking to be fed. The parents don’t oblige, they have to fend for themselves.
Friday 3rd July – The long-tailed tits have brought their babies into the garden. They are the cutest of cute things – tiny, mostly grey and white, and with a quite bewildered look. They manage their long tails remarkably well, finding their way through the coronilla, investigating the empty bird feeder, not straying too far from parent. Spells of sunshine tempt a few butterflies out – small white, speckled wood and a new visitor, a gatekeeper. More warm weather please.