The end of June always seems to mark a watershed moment for me.
Up until now everything has been about the season ahead, but suddenly that period of anticipation is over. Spring has ended, and summer is here.
When you are a gardener, the spring period is one of intense activity as we tidy our gardens after the ravages of winter, and seek to restore some sort of order. Paths need to be swept, grates cleared of debris, lawns mowed and fed, and garden furniture dusted off ready for hoped for days of sunshine and alfresco living.
Most of our time, however, is spent nurturing new plants, planting up containers, and filling in gaps in borders with new plants and shrubs. Discovering some new plant and finding it a home in your garden is a simple pleasure.
By the time we get to the end of June, however, that urgency becomes somewhat diminished. A combination of moisture and warmth, along with long hours of daylight, means plants have put on a spectacular surge of growth. Empty spaces start to vanish and gaps to fill become more of a rarity. Obviously we plant on and off throughout the summer, but with summer, the primary garden tools cease to be the trowel and the seed tray.
Instead the gardener reaches for his/her secateurs and the watering can. It is a time for snipping and watering. It is a time for simply maintaining and bringing our gardens to perfection. The hard work is over. Now it is time to enjoy our outside spaces. A time to relax.
For someone who always likes to be busy the idea of sitting still and supposedly relaxing is quite, well.....quite stressful! Consequently, when I’m not working, I will be finding things go do around the garden, but also getting out-and-about enjoying our beautiful country at its seasonal best.
Already the summer solstice is behind us and the days are (so far imperceptibly) starting to shorten, so it is with some urgency that I will be dashing off to the Dales, racing to the Moors, hastening to the Lakes, and rushing to the coast, anxious not to waste a minute.
I’ll be pulling on my boots, getting out the bike and planning new expedition! Summer leisure is a serious business, and there is so much to see and do. It is certainly no time to relax!