The light fantastic

Summer has most definitely arrived here. The children have broken up for their lusciously long school holiday and the San Juan fiesta rockets have been crumping and thumping in the distance all over the weekend. We have put up the sunbrella, stacked the fridge with sparkling water and cooked our dinners outside on a wood fire every evening.

IMG_1982

Morning is now the time to get jobs done in the garden before the searing heat of the afternoon leaves everything  bleached of colour and soporific in the shimmering, silvered sunlight. There is no rush, though; I love nothing better than wandering out, still pyjama-clad, with my first tea mug of the day to breathe in the freshness and beauty of the moment and welcome the gift of a new day. The air is spiced with the scents of eucalyptus and lavender, sugared with roses, honeysuckles and sweet peas.

IMG_2441

Swallows skim the vegetable patch just above ground level, swooping and twisting like arrowheads through the plants with split-second precision (I wish I could capture them with the camera!). Even this early, the flowers are teeming with myriad insects. Lacy coriander blooms sparkle with dainty hover flies, lavender bristles with businesslike bees and everywhere – everywhere – there are butterflies, so many different varieties floating dreamily on painted wings.

IMG_2454

This is the time of day to truly appreciate the garden beauties; illuminated by a soft, dappled light they take on a whole new allure, a delicate elegance that is washed out by full sunlight. Here I can see every shadowed pleat and fold, every nuance of shade and texture, every mesmerising mystery of petal and sepal, stigma and style, frond and tendril, pattern and form.

IMG_2430

IMG_2445

IMG_2443

IMG_2449

IMG_2448

IMG_2444

IMG_2447

The wild ones, too, take on a fresh flush of beauty, clothing the garden’s margins in their soft hues and rowdy brights.

IMG_2440

IMG_2442

IMG_2424

There are the cheeky chancers, popping up uninvited in unexpected places: a nasturtium trailing cheerfully amongst the beetroot plants, satin Welsh poppies fluttering in the asparagus bed, a  self-set young walnut tree (they are weeds here, no question) on the edge of the patch. How can I be anything other than enchanted by their optimistic charm?

IMG_2415

IMG_2434

IMG_2435

So, to work and the main task of the week is weeding. Hoes are handy tools but I enjoy a bit of hand weeding, even more so now that I can take my time and do it with focus and attention rather than cramming it in around a hectic working week. I love the simple physical act of getting down amongst the plants and looking at them from new angles and through fresh eyes. I relish the smell of the earth, delight in the characters of the plants and cherish the work of tidying things up a bit. There is something so fundamentally satisfying about feeling the essence of all those scientific processes – germination, transpiration, pollination, photosynthesis and the like – going on all around me, not textbook descriptions but fizzing and buzzing with real in-the-flesh life. What a wondrous, miraculous thing it is! How captivating, too, are those vegetable plants caught in the teasing play of light and shadow; here even the mundane is taken to new heights.

IMG_2414

IMG_2416

IMG_2418

IMG_2420

IMG_2427

IMG_2428

IMG_2436

IMG_2432

IMG_2429

IMG_2439

Working in the garden? No, we’re unashamedly tripping the light fantastic, don’t you think? 🙂

 

6 thoughts on “The light fantastic

  1. It all sounds so gorgeous, Lis, I’m almost there with you. Loved the photos of the treasures you have both in your garden and growing wild. Thanks for the tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane, you’re very welcome! They really are treasures, I spend so much of my time with my nose in the plants (and head in the clouds?) that the weeding is a very slow process – but then, surely that’s what gardening and life should be about? 🙂

      Like

  2. Yes, gorgeous! Lovely light and delightful produce. We’ve got summer heat like I can’t remember here. Nearly 30C. Melting in the shade. Light harvesting duties only.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s