The bliss of June has already arrived. We have passed from spring to young summer and the delights the new season brings could not be surpassed by John Clare’s poem;
‘Now summer is in flower and natures hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done
Wi’ glittering dance and reeling in the sun
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee
Are never weary of their melody…’
We have been away for four days and there has been a heady mix of rain and heat and now the garden seems full of green, and colour everywhere. I feel almost crowded out. But this month always reminds me why we made the move from London and why it was all worth it.
June is supposedly named after Juno, the goddess of marriage, and traditionally one of the favourite months to get married in, others suggest it is named after Lucius Junius Brutus, founder of the Roman Republic. It is also the month of the summer solstice, all those long evenings, when day lingers, the long thin fingers of light unwilling to let go and submit to night. The days when you lie in bed, windows open and you can still hear the blackbird late into the night, and the trills and chirps of the House Martin chicks at bedtime remind me of the nights my little ones would chirrup at me (both summer babes).
For no rhyme or reason I know of, the foxgloves have been rather lacking this year, but the poppies I seeded two years ago, have finally erupted into a glorious riot of pink and red. The aliums have come and gone, as has the clematis and aquilegia; it is the turn of the roses which smell like Turkish delight and the pom-pom peonies. The geraniums are rather generic for me, but provide good ground cover and the bees seem to like them.
The vegetable patch has spring onions the size of leeks, the pea wall is taller than me, and kale is the gift that keeps on giving (if you like kale), the lettuce has survived the onslaught from slugs and pigeons, and the beans spiral gently around their supports. In the fruitcage more rhubarb, raspberries ripening, blackcurrants brewing, and gooseberries growing plump. There are apples and plums on the fruit trees and I am impatient for them to ripen, although as Dr Seuss might say ‘how did it get so late so soon… my goodness how the time has flewn..’. There are a myriad of jobs to do, not least the weeding, mowing the lawn, dead heading, sowing more vegetables. But it can all wait for now.
If there’s one thing we should all do this month, it is take our shoes off and walk barefoot- in your garden or park or beach; some call it Earthing, others Grounding. I don’t know if it provides all the benefits they say it does (increased energy, lowering stress, increased vitality, improves sleep) but it just feels so good, it feels free and joyful and it slows you down a bit. So I’m off to do just that and afterwards watch the busy insects from the comfort of my hammock.
** UPDATE** Apparently foxgloves are biennial. That explains the lack of them this year. I will look out for them next year.