In this wettest of summers, the garden has kept growing at a furious pace, weeds and all. Everywhere is endlessly green. Perhaps this is the real green party :-).
The trouble is that the rain and the green get relentlessly boring after three months when the sun should have been shining at least for some of the time. Constant clouds depress the spirit and in the garden they depress the flowers. My lovely roses refuse to open and rot on the bud in the rain. Nature’s two fingers to heaven.
A few brave souls have battled on and broken through. The blue and the lilac lobelia tumble over the walls and window boxes, unaccompanied by their floriferous friends. Honeysuckle still sends its scent all through the garden, especially after a rain shower, as if to say “I’m still here”.
The foxgloves have revelled in the rain saying “we are wild flowers, rain doesn’t bother us”. The white foxgloves – a gift from Jenny – pleased that they stand out in the lush green.
Then near the end of July the sun finally breaks through and in only a few days the flowers are out and about. The roses first – saying “look what you have missed”. A red rose for my wife – a Valentine every year. A pink rose for Zara, a little girl who blessed our lives for too short a moment. A peace rose, big blossomed, bold and scented – full of my Grandfather’s gardening confidence.
The geraniums are at long last lifting their heads, battered but ultimately unbowed. A lesson for everyone. The sweet peas too, having weathered the storm, are quickly into bloom and delicately dancing on the raindrops.
Elderly people now surrounded by the green shoots of youth, can still show the colours of their childhood and earlier lives. They just need a little sunshine to allow them to bloom.