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where happy silence lulls the quiet soul ...

 
"Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
    Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn."
-  Michelle L. Thieme, August's Crown   
 

And so, another month is almost over.  A month of unwelcome heat (for me), the ground becoming bone hard, flowers quickly going over; dragging the hosepipe up to the top of the garden to quench the thirst of the vegetables; the countryside parched; July, as you may have guessed, is not my favourite month.  Now, thankfully, it has turned a little cooler and is more bearable.


But there have been upsides.  An unexpected tea party in the garden; meeting up with a friend I haven't seen for a while; a birthday celebration meal getting together with a coterie of friends to laugh and chat and catch up on news.  My circle of friends isn't large - but I have managed to see them all in the last week.

I realised that occasionally I need these things - contact with the world beyond the garden gate.  Left to my own devices I would become reclusive and hermit-like and I do need other people to bring me out of myself, even if I groan inwardly at the prospect!




When it is hot it feels good to be by the water; watching life drifting by brings a feeling of peace and calm.




Sometimes, at home I sit outside and stare, not thinking, my mind a blank, letting go of all thoughts. Other times I sit and notice everything; two sparrows coming down to the pond to drink and bathe; a bee tumbling in and out of the nasturtiums by the door; a butterfly at rest on the kitchen windowsill.


 I leave the garden to its own devices, it has taken advantage of my neglect and laziness and turned into a flowery wilderness, it may look a mess but the bees and hoverflies are indulging themselves busily every day.  I notice them while I am picking sweet peas and harvesting beans and courgettes.  I have squash plants flinging their octopus arms hither and thither, trying to take over the world, or their little part of it - it all looks lush and productive, and I close my eyes to the weeds and disorder.



I wonder what August will bring, hopefully more time to read.  I began The History of Love by Nicole Krauss this morning - this is a passage from the first chapter:-
"Once upon a time there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists.  They made up a thousand games.  She was Queen and he was King.  In the autumn light, her hair shone like a crown.  They collected the world in small handfuls.  When the sky grew dark they parted with leaves in their hair."
It looks promising - I think I am going to enjoy reading this book.
 

Elaine


Comments

  1. Sounds like heaven there Elaine. August is our hottest, parched month and I am fiddling just this morning with the digital watering system, which I know nothing about.

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    1. Not quite heaven Donna - but not far off :)
      Good luck with the watering system - watering can be a pain at this time of year.

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  2. So evocative Elaine! You have captured the headiness of high summer so well in your beautiful photographs.

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    1. Thanks Freda - kind of you to say - there is always lots to capture at this time of year.

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  3. You write beautifully Elaine. I felt I was there in the garden with you.

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    1. Thank you Sue - much appreciated - I like to try to paint a picture with my words.

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  4. Beautiful pictures and words Elaine... very evocative xx

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Meg - I'll be looking in on your blog soon.

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  5. Still plenty of hot, dry, weather to come I think. Personally I like it, but feel for those who don't.

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    1. I expect there is - at least it gives me a chance to take out my summer frocks which hardly ever get worn.

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  6. I sympathise with you about summer. But your garden is amazing, so beautiful. And I shall have to look for that book, what an alluring beginning :-)

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    1. The weather is a little more bearable at the moment, and we have had one or two showers which has helped. I have a feeling I have read this book before but I can't remember what happens so am quite happy to read it again.

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  7. It is strange but I don't look back on July as being particularly hot other than for about a week or so. Maybe we have had slightly different whether to that which you have had.

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    1. It is only this last week that it has gone down a couple of degrees - much more bearable and not so humid.

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  8. A delightful post, and lovely pictures, and one I really do empathise with. I don't like July either and would be happy to become a hermit at times.
    Happy reading. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. I always think the garden looks a mess in July and makes me feel like cutting everything down to ground level.

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  9. Your garden sounds delightful, just the way I like them. I'm like you in that if I don't see people after a while I get quite reclusive. It is good to get out and about with others sometimes:)

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    1. It is very unruly at the moment and I feel as if I have lost control but can't be bothered to do anything about it :) Funny, I always dread going out socially, but nearly always enjoy it when I do - that is the introvert in me I guess.

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  10. I have loved the heat of July and the feeling of summer being really here and the freedom it brings with it. I love your sharing of your life, I haven't got many friends either, just quite a lot of acquaintances, and people on the blogs, but hardly any close friends. xx

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    1. It is always good to be able to shed one or two layers of clothing, but I just have a problem keeping cool (due to my body thermostat being on the blink) - I fair better in winter. My circle of friends has shrunk over the years - deaths, or moving away, or just plain losing touch. Friends can be high maintenance so I am quite happy with two or three to concentrate on.

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  11. A lovely selection of images through your post, which I always enjoy.

    It is so nice to take time out with friends, or family.

    I hope you have time to sit, read and enjoy 'The History of Love'
    Perhaps you've read a few pages today?

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan. I agree, once I have made the effort I enjoy it. The book is turning out to be rather complicated - I can't fathom out who's who - perhaps I am a bit thick :)

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  12. Your garden is lovely!!! And your pictures too! I also found out that by my laziness the garden looks better, I love the wild side of the garden, I just try to keep the bindweed, nettles, groundelder and horsetails away, I'm afraid I'm failing....
    Sometimes it's so nice to have friends or family around, especially in summer when we can sit outside. I also love to be alone in home and garden, but it's also great to have people around sometimes.
    Enjoy your summer Elaine!

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    1. Thanks Janneke. At this time of year the garden seems to get away from me and I lose control - I have been trying to right this a little today as I couldn't walk around on the paths because everything is so overgrown. Hope you are enjoying your summer too.

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  13. Oh, that first chapter certainly did it for me! Let us know if it met your expectations. Ah, yes, friends. We do need them and it was good to hear how you got to see them all in a week. I could easily be a hermit too, animals are often enough for me but I do always enjoy seeing my friends.I just loved these pics, I leave the garden to it's own devices at this time of the year too, and like you I am a great stare-into-space gal, or good at noticing. I think we have much in common, probably why I like you so much.xxx

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    1. Well, the book turned out not to be as good as expected. It was terribly complicated and I wasn't sure all the way through just who was who - it was original though and kind of quirky - but not one I would recommend. I have been busy over the weekend trying to get some order out of the chaos in the garden - perhaps it looks just a little better now, at least I can walk on the paths that go round the veg beds now, before I needed a hatchet just to go and water everything. :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  14. Sounds like very a very good read. Let us know if it really is. I just finished a murder mystery that takes place in the London, an audio book read by an English woman. Love the accent, but I can't get her voice of my head. Much like you, I do quite well at entertaining myself. A quiet, peaceful life suits me well after all of the drama of the work world. Loving it as much as I did, I am glad to have retreated to the garden.

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    1. I was hopeful that the book would be a good read - I just finished it and think I would have to go back to the beginning to understand it - yes, one of those books! I have never sat and listened to an audio book, although I do enjoy listening to Book at Bedtime on the radio, a similar experience I should imagine. Yes, the garden is definitely a peaceful retreat, the only place where time runs away and you realise you have been out there for a couple of hours and wonder where the time went.

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  15. Dear Elaine, your garden looks very beautiful - and when we let go and it grows a tiny bit wild: great! I hope that the fine weather will last when I visit London in August - though it must not be piping hot as it is at the moment in Berlin.

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    1. Dear Britta
      Thank you, sometimes it looks better in photographs than in real life, and of course, I only show the good bits :) I hope you have a lovely time in London and that the weather stays fine for you and not too hot.

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  16. Lovely photos of your garden. I love a flowery wilderness full of bees and butterflies and I could be a bit of a hermit in a summer garden, too. It's such a beautiful place to be. And I don't like it very hot either because it drives me indoors into the shade. That seems such a waste of summer!

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    1. Thanks Wendy. I do like a certain amount of wildness, mine has just got a little out of hand. I prefer the weather as it has been over the last few days where I can work comfortably outside, but now the rain has come and I can't get outside at all! There seems to be no happy medium :) Thanks for stopping by.

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