Late to bed and early to rise, the sun has become an almost constant companion. It follows us as we make our way around the garden.
Our first crop of dessert gooseberries is scant, and the berries themselves tiny, but they glow like Chinese lanterns as they ripen. The peas are sending out long, grasping tendrils, wending their way upwards; confused; in contrast to the determined upward-push of the French bean stalks.
The winged blooms of the Lindheimer’s beeblossom (Gaura Lindheimeri) provide a fairytale background for the giant heads of the Allium Christophii.
Bumblebees fly, tongues outstretched, from flower to flower on the towering delphiniums, and buzz in frenzied circles around the central stamens of the Welsh poppies.
Towards the end of the afternoon scarlet tiger moths flit in the long grass, their orange spots and vermillion under-wings echo the setting sun as it nears the horizon.
Dusk is upon us. Bats fly: long-eared and pipistrelle. A tawny owl sounds. Expectant.
Midsummer may be all about long days and prolonged sunlight, but in true Shakespearean fashion it’s the evenings that hold the most magic.
Ways to celebrate midsummer, from dawn to dusk:
* Rise early to listen to the dawn chorus
* Go foraging for elderflowers and make cordial
* Find your nearest Pick Your Own and fill a punnet with strawberries.
* Go on a riverside walk to look for damsel- and dragonflies
* Throw a Scandinavian-style crayfish party
* Make jam jar lanterns to decorate your patio or hang from trees – I’ll be posting about these for June’s Take One Jar.