After all the excitement of getting up very early on Monday to make sure we got to our Highgrove appointment on time, the rest of the week has been pretty calm, with lovely weather … just right for a little pottering here and there … making jam … cooking summer foods … and enjoying afternoon tea in the shade with a good book for company … for isn’t this what summer is all about … enjoying every little bit of it.
“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James
Summer seems to last for such a short time, even though it is not my favourite season, I relish throwing open windows and doors, putting washing on the line and it being dry in record time, eating fresh salads straight from the garden with home-baked bread – simple foods that make the mouth water in anticipation.
”summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.” – Deb Caletti.
“Bees do have a smell you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers” – Ray Bradbury
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” – John Lubbock
“One of my favourite things about dining outdoors in a warmer season is that it frees hands and bares skin … When we don’t need to wear or carry heavy clothing, our bodies feel lighter and our hand are freed for other things. Like carrying bottles of wine, bags of stone fruit, fish, and clams; and a simple kettle and a tiny grill for a quiet, all-day beach excursion. Then we can eat well.” – Kirstin Jackson
If you could epitomise an English summer maybe it would include watching a game of cricket on the green … Or baby birds standing patiently waiting to be fed by an overworked mother … Or the bright blue of Cornflowers in amongst the weedy borders … The vibrant green of fresh lettuce … Posies of flowers fresh from the garden… Stunning sunsets … And moonlit nights … Bees lazily resting on the flowers of the Cosmos … Eating an unhurried breakfast whilst reading the morning papers … Looking out across the fields where the cows have their afternoon siesta … Watching the petals unfold on a pure white dahlia … And marvelling at the beauties of nature left to run riot
These are just some of the glories of summer for me. Of course there is also the vegetable harvest – although I love the flower garden, when it comes to where my heart lies it has to be the kitchen garden. Even after many years of growing vegetables I still get a thrill from pulling a few carrots, digging up potatoes and cooking them within a few minutes. You can’t get any fresher than that. Inbetween times there has been some successional seed sowing going on – french beans, pak choi, oriental mustard leaves, choi sum, broccoli raab – in an attempt to keep the food supply going as long as possible into the autumn.
“The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby – how could anything so beautiful be mine. And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year. There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown” – Alice B. Toklas
“Ripe vegetables were magic to me. Unharvested, the garden bristled with possibility. I would quicken at the sight of a ripe tomato, sounding its redness from deep amidst the undifferentiated green. To lift a bean plant’s hood of heartshaped leaves and discover a clutch of long slender pods underneath could make me catch my breath.” – Michael Pollen
“The smell of manure, of sun on foliage, of evaporating water, rose to my head; two steps farther, and I could look down into the vegetable garden enclosed within its tall pale of reeds – rich chocolate earth studded emerald green, frothed with the white of cauliflowers, jewelled with the purple globes of eggplant and the scarlet wealth of tomatoes.” – Doris Lessing
I hope you have enjoyed a look at my week in pictures, sorry that it became rather a long post, but there is so much to share at this time of year.
‘Til next time …