Saturday, 8 July 2017

midsummer in the garden

I would normally light a bonfire for Solstice, but some years it's so hot that anything that might create a spark feels irresponsible. The same nervousness has crept across the city; normally a fug of BBQ would hang in the air every weekend, but this year everyone is reluctant to add heat to heat.

After ten, when it was cool enough, I headed out and made a tiny symbolic bonfire from fallen rhododendron flowers, dropped willow leaves and dried oats:

Solstice bonfire

The cats came out to investigate, tempted by the coolness. Midsummer is also Cat 1's nominal birthday though of course we'll never know for sure (she's the black and white one).

It was too hot for a real bonfire harley and the solstice bonfire

The weekend after I got a proper Solstice celebration in a garden in Cambridge, surrounded by high hedges, with frogs and hedgehogs rustling in the cool deep under them. Every year I go back and the garden has become a little prettier. This year a hydrangea and some heuchera had snuck into a corner, and the front lawn was mostly left as meadow, full of wildflowers

new planting

Two ancient apple trees shade the lawn, and the high hedges enclose the space entirely; but it's under the flight path of small aircraft coming into a local airport, borrowed landscape in the Ballardian style.

High laurel hedges apple tree

Fire in the firebowl and lights in the trees. Happy midsummer!

hands and the fire the confusion of fairylights

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