The main change this month is of course completion of the new building, and the return of visitors. First among these is a swallow which begins a nest on the light fitting just outside the front door – some sort of a blessing perhaps.
This also means that the final few artworks and container plants around the entrance can be put back out in place, and a new layer of gravel raked across to refresh the pathway. A bit of new planting by the relaid UNDA patio softens its edges – geranium, foxglove, purslane – all familiar, and all readily settle in.
One large annual job completed is the weeding out of the lochan – a little boat floats up and down for a couple of days, cutting as close to the bottom as possible to remove and retard regrowth of pond weed.
The Middle pond also is cleared out and the Temple pool gets a good going over, as the warm weather has brought a new grimy surface of blanket weed here, along with everything else. Before the end of the month it needs done again, and a sequence of these works awaits – small patch repairs again to the aqueducts where they are leaking and keeping all of the waterways clear.
Outside the house Japanese flowering quince and lilac bring masses of colour. On the hillside and around the lochan first gorse blooms, then frothy hawthorn, and a swathe of oxeye daisies amidst a rush of lush zingy green. More annuals are planted out along the Front garden beds, cosmos and cerinth, and evergreen honeysuckle in front of the woodshed, so that it might create here a twining wall of perfume and colour – one day perhaps.
There is more potting on and planting out in the Kailyard – rhubarb has revelled in conditions sending up huge flower heads and threatening to expand well beyond its boundaries.
In the Woodland garden a few more low overhanging branches are removed from the perimeter trees to allow light to filter in, and ground cover planting is encouarged in its spread here – in particular by the Pyramid and Life is Short column.
All of the hedges get a light trim just to keep them in shape – including the large yew hedge at the top of the Parkland and along Huff Lane – all of the dog roses are coming into bloom – here and throughout the wild garden.
The mock orange by the front gate There is Happiness is almost cloying in its sweet heady scent which hangs in the air.
Everything is occasionally doused by heavy rain – the long grass falls over and collapses in on itself – pathways become soggy passages – then bright sun and heat again, and a new flurry of growth all bright green and fresh blossom.
There is much strimming around the edges of grass pathways to lift this floppy growth and bring order once again. Grass cutting seems to be a neverending exercise, along with the removal of nettles and then sticky willy which seems to appear and cover whole areas overnight.
The annual assault on rose bay willow herb begins – as sections are cleared by the Little Fields stone walls at the top of the garden, also the area in front of the Goose Hut and along by the edge of the lochan – before it flowers and is allowed to dominate.
This leaves room for the silvery white, pink and pale gold seedheads of the long grasses to shimmer and sway across the moorland. And here too all of the sounds of summer – birdsong, insects buzzing and the trout rising in the lochan – a splash and a pattern of concentric rings gives away its presence.
The bright purple of wild orchids also appear – behind the Elegy bench and by the sluice, tucked away in little corners around the hill – a presence which always brings pause and delight.