It's the summer solstice today - the longest day of the year, one of the two turning points on which the year hinges.
It's a magical day, marked with dawn vigils and singing, dancing and picnicking in the sun; unless you live where I live where it means 'whoops we slept in', 'that wind's a bit cold when you sit still', and 'oh well, I'll mow the lawn then'.
So I took advantage of the breaks in the cloud to record the party that was going on in the flower borders; red carpet day for plants and everyone has their best frock on.
I have to admit a slight touch of pride in this border. It wasn't here 18 months ago, although many of the plants, especially the cranesbills, had been with me for years in pots in the old back yard. The young apple tree which you might just be able to see behind the yellow lysimachia has also spent it's formative years in pots and is now relishing unrestricted root room. :-)
I have to own up to loving riotous colour in my flower borders.
I adore it when plants intertwine and the contrast between the 'Johnson's Blue' cranesbill and orange Fox and Cubs just makes my heart sing.
The lysimachia looks scrumptious with the red geum and Fox and Cubs.
Fox and Cubs is an orange hawkweed, a wild flower come weed that grows on rough ground (doesn't say a lot for the quality of our soil) and it shares with the lysimachia that strong belief that it should be present in the entire garden. It requires a strict hand but is worth it in my opinion for the gloriously cheerful flowers it gives you.
Slightly quieter but no less lovely is this white Jacob's Ladder, it has the most delicate perfume and subtle violet edging on the inside of the petals.
This is my so called woodland/ fern border. The field maple to the left of the Jacob's Ladder is another old friend enjoying its freedom from pots and in spring it shelters the wild garlic and violets that grow under it.
The ferns are growing into just the sort of cover a cat might need in order to keep up undetected surveillance of the bird table - not how we planned it.
And last but definitely not least this bronze fennel wears the most beautiful smokey foliage which goes wonderfully well with nearly all fish dishes.
Behind it you can just glimpse a climbing rose which I was lucky enough to skip dive from a neighbour who was having a clear out at our old house. It has the most delicate white roses but I think this year it's going to spend most of it time on growing rather than flowering. I can't wait to see what it does next year.
Happy Solstice everyone!