There are some advantages to persistent mizzle, even when you are out in it all day, stewing like an old turnip in head to toe waterproofs, the only ventilation provided by a leaking boot. They are as follows:
- Good company, both human and canine, although a degree of encouragement was dispensed from the dry side of a window (yes Pickle I am talking about you, fair weather friend).
- Excused the chore of lugging watering cans up and down steps (lucky as a strategic tennis ball was positioned at the very top) (anyone else think this is a bit suspect?) (and what was that piece of paper I was asked to sign the other day?)
- Rapid weight loss, although unfortunately only temporary, it went straight back on when I partook of my early evening quart of Merrydown and black.
- Photogenic raindrops on refreshed flowers.
The annual wildflower mix on Button Moon is still going strong, with tickseed and late marigolds beginning to take over from the linum and nigella. This is great news not only for us but for the host of pollinators who are enjoying these riches. Today I pursued, in the nicest non stalker like way, a tiny blue butterfly. She landed, briefly, on Eschschlotzia californica ‘Red Chief’ which is lolling about on the adjacent bed. With a zoom and a lucky shot I captured her, before she flitted off again, blissfully unaware of the huntress.
One of my first tasks on Button Moon was to pick out the weeds from a sowing of wildflowers. I was stumped. Wildflowers. Weeds. Aren’t they the same thing? I was worried that my dumbfounded look was not impressing my new employers. Pickle the Jack Russell looked disappointed at my reticence. The silence was awkward.
Inaction was not an option. I did my best. We decided that the perennials were a disaster, mostly nasturtium and dandelion. The annuals more promising. Some were obvious, I shimmied around others.
This linum survived, as did many others. All beauties, none of them weeds, as few of us are in our mothers’ eyes.
This morning I spent an educational moment or three studying a bee who was trying to exit a campanula flower. Mrs Buzz-u-like’s drawers were full of pollen and she was slip-sliding and wheel spinning, as if her path was lined with treacle. Perhaps it was. It was pure slapstick. And educational of course. I learned never to enter a campanula flower without a ladder.