As the lush green of June gave way to July, high summer this year brought days of hot sunshine and very little rain. Roses and delphiniums finished their displays and the brightest flowers were often those of self-set annuals, or of wild flowers allowed to stay where they had grown.
Scarlet flashes of poppy petals ......
...and the soft, pale mauve of a mallow that no one has planted.
As the month passed, we left a patch of lawn to grow unmowed. A sea of white clover blossomed first, and was alive with honey bees and bumble bees. Later came the butter yellow Birds Foot Trefoil......
..a patch of purple Self Heal.....
.....and the tall white discs of Yarrow flowers stood out above the drying grass and clover,
....while Scarlet Pimpernel opened its flowers to the sun.
Down in the vegetable garden, the green of plants watered each evening contrasted with baked , brown pasture in the fields beyond. In among the beans and the courgettes , beautiful poppies had seeded themselves and enticed the bees to pollinate the plants.
A single Love in a Mist plant appeared with its delicate leaf fronds and deep blue flowers beside shining green leaves of spinach and Swiss Chard.
More poppies among the beans, with single petals.....
....and some with ruffled pom pom flowers like layers of crinoline on a long-ago dancing dress.
In a border where the roses were almost over, a tall pink lily blossomed for days in the heat of the sun. The bulb was a birthday present from an old friend. Three years on, it still blooms throughout July.
Rosa Kiftsgate has finished flowering now. For less than two weeks, it flourished and tumbled over an old wooden fence and was humming with bees through all the daylight hours.
A new plant, brought back from a June visit to the wonderful gardens at Sissinghurst Castle in the Weald of Kent. Nicandra physalodes alba flowers in Vita Sackville-West`s White Garden there. An annual that grows from tiny seedling to a lush plant over a metre high, its pure white flowers last for just one day and then form seed pods to harvest and keep safe, to plant again in spring.
As the month passed by, we noticed more and more young rabbits venturing into the garden. As the field grasses withered and died, they needed garden grass and water. I watched this one feeding on the lawn before it hopped into a border to sample more interesting leaves and flowers.
Living in the beautiful New Forest, I am a married late-fifties woman, a recently retired teacher and the mother of grown up boys who have flown the nest. I share my days with cats, dogs, ponies and the wildlife all around us. Starting this blog is a chance to explore woods, fields, lanes and heath with my camera. A chance to share the simple pleasures of my country life.