What a miserable start to June! I wouldn't say it was cold as such (it's not warm, though!), but it's pouring down (the chickens are all huddled miserably under the coop) and it's so dark and grey I have my desk lamp on. It's hard to believe it's nearly midsummer: today, I'd say it felt more like mid-October. That said, there is here the unmistakable fragrance of summer: my garden smells of freshly cut grass, thyme, and lilac, and from the distance a note of pine: this is one of my favourite aspects of summer, the scent. May was a beautiful month in terms of weather - warm, hot on occasion, with the delicate late-spring breeze. From the weather reports, though, it does look like it'll pick up. In other ways, however, May was a frankly traumatic month. All I'll say on the matter is I'll be glad when the election is over and we can have a bit of peace and calm. What happened in Manchester was deeply disturbing, and, with all the small daily shocks and surprises of the election campaign I feel a little dragged down; resisting it takes quite an effort. I watch it all; read the news, see the news, listen, talk to people, keep track of it, but I don't feel a need to communicate my thoughts any more on the matter. We'll see what happens on Thursday, but for now, I am heartily tired of the daily ups and downs. We've had far too much of that since 2014.

And so, on to more pleasant matters: reading and gardening! A week ago I joined the 20 Books of Summer Challenge and listed the books I want to read over June, July and August. I've made a start on Picnic at Hanging Rock and I plan on starting The Lucky Chance by Aphra Behn as well as Constellation Myths with Aratus's Phaenomena by Eratosthenes and Aratus in the next day or so. I also have The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith on my immediate radar. Until then, blogging: I have a few reviews coming up - The Desert Fathers, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, and the next chapter of Vasari's Artists, as well as a great meme I saw at Jean's. In terms of reading and blogging, I'm really looking forward to June!

As for the garden, it has really come alive! Here's some pictures, mostly taken yesterday but some are from throughout the month:

Spiraea: that was the last of the blossom, it's all green now.
Florence on the patio.


First rosebud!
Apples (or the start of them, at least).
Night-Scented Stock seedlings in front with garlic and fox gloves behind.
Blackbird in the mist: we've had a lot of mist lately.
Left: Meg, centre: Agnes, right: Florence.
The pine cones are beginning to show.
The moon and a heart-shaped cloud.
The moon again.
More mist.
Happy May, everyone!


  1. Uh! Elections! We just had a Provincial one here and it's a couple of weeks after it and there is still no word on who officially won. It was so close and it amazes me how divided people are all around the world. Yes, it is kind of depressing. But I usually avoid the news because you can't really avoid it and even with avoiding it, you know what is happening and that is enough for me. Did that make sense? ;-)

    Your garden looks lovely! I wish I had the time to enjoy mine as much as you do yours although I did put some planters up my front steps finally, a expensive endeavour at $4 per plant. :-Z Looks great though.

    I can't wait to hear what you think of Vicar of Wakefield! You seem to have some nice relaxing reads for your books of summer. I'm trying but I have some doozies also to contend with so I'll see how relaxed my reading has been after summer is over.

    Have a great June!

    1. So very heartily fed up with elections. Even more so than when I wrote this yesterday. So fed up I have a headache (no joke). Sick sick sick sick sick of it. SICK. And no, it's impossible to avoid it. Plus I watched a question / answer thing with May and Corbyn last night (BBC Question Time), so I was actually *confronting* it! Made me rather depressed, actually. I'm a bit sad today.

      And yes, relaxing reads - the only 'challenge' will be the Aristotle. Not in the mood for challenges but I do need to get on with Aristotle and I'll be pleased when I've read it. After Ethics comes Politics (ha!) which I thought would be the most interesting for me.

  2. We have had elections...and am struggling to form a coalition government. Pressure is building to compromise b/c politians want to go on summer holiday...on schedule!
    Mist...gracious, just a bit to the south in NL...lovely sunshine today and thunder storm clouds expected tonight. The plant will sigh in relief. The only thing we have in commom when I see the foto's are strawberry plants. Sturdy little guys who can stand the hot midday sun while I move other plants in the shade. More heuchera plants coming tomorrow for 4 new hanging baskets! Books: I've only read one of your selections Gabriel García Márquez. I must decide which classic to start tonight....always hard to choose! Let's hope the summer gets better each daY

    1. We had a thunder storm last week - really perked the garden up :)

      The strawberries - this is the first time I've tried to grow them and they do seem very tough - I always admire the pretty hardy plants. Like snowdrops - so beautiful but so strong :)

  3. politics is bunk... we finally got back from Lincoln City where we've been stuck for weeks, waiting for the formaldehyde to dissipate in the the kitchen we had remodeled... we've got it sealed off with plastic sheeting and are in the living room in an endurance vigil... we ordered a big air purifier that should be here this coming week and hopefully will improve the breathing situation...
    Florence looks good and the garden healthy; ours has gone wild in our absence, which is not necessarily bad: we kind of like it that way...

    1. Actually Florence isn't too well at the moment, and neither is Agnes. Florence has her recurring crop problem so is on antibiotics (I'm hopeful) and I'm afraid Agnes is getting old. I'm not so hopeful about poor Ag.

      Good luck with the kitchen situation - sounds a nightmare but it'll be worth it when it's done :)

      I like a wild garden :) I do minimal weeding and I love all the buttercups we have, I'd never get rid of those. And nettles are good for caterpillars. It's very good for wildlife, I'm with you - I don't like a manicured garden :)

  4. ms. M told me to mention how much she liked seeing the pictures... many tx...

    1. Ah, you're welcome! I'm so glad she likes them, thank you for telling me :)

  5. Manchester was a tragedy and don't get me started on elections! I have no idea whats up with the world; for my geography, I can surely say, people, sane rational people have lost their marbles. Like Cleo said, it is awfully depressing! But this too shall pass! Great reads for the summer. Very interested in your take on Picnic at Hanging Rocks and 100 years of Solitude. I absolutely loved Vicar of Wakefield and your listing of the book, makes me want to revisit it again. Who knows, maybe I will?! I love the pictures of your garden; it gives me a much needed impetus to get started on it instead of sitting on the fence about it forever! Happy Summer Reading! :)

    1. I hope it passes soon - I'm so sad about it all. So very sad. The division and hate is very oppressive here.

      Glad you like the pictures :)


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