It hasn’t rained for three weeks. This is unheard of. Exceptional. What’s more, it’s reliably warm and sunny. What has happened? I’m disgruntled; I have nothing to complain about. Even the grass is barely growing.
I’m especially pleased, because this is the time of year when shrubs are contemplating next year’s flower buds, and the more they are lulled into thinking that it’s safe to put a bit of energy into that endeavour, the better next summer’s display is likely to be.
The other good thing is that we are sweeping into the Time of the Fragrance, led, as always, by philadelphus. Drifts of the scent sweep up the bank as the heat goes out of the day.
(I fear the lense on the camera is scratched. Comes of keeping it in my pocket along with secateurs, the odd nail, cherry stones and fragments of bantam food. So apologies for the picture quality meantime…)
Honeysuckle contributes, less intense, more concentrated within the flower. There are so many cultivars of the climbing honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum, that it’s hard to choose. But if you want scent rather than colour, it’s a good idea to stay close to the species. Mine has been good this year: often it suffers from fly, which ruins the flowers unless you spray it early enough in the year.
There’s also this rose: ‘Ispahan’ – one of the few roses that I can really be bothered with. A damask rose, growing happily through a viburnum to eight or nine feet; minimal maintenance, zero pruning unless I feel like it, and usually pest-free. And wafts of scent to reward me for my neglect. If only all roses were like this…
It has also been a great year for meadowsweet – filipendula ulmaria – the plant that lies behind asprin.
This grows wild in all the damp places in my garden – i.e. most of it, and I count it as a pernicious weed, because its creeping rhizomes smother stuff, such as irises, which might be trying to share the space. But when it’s in flower, with its strange half-bitter fragrance, I relent.