Rarely has there been such a month of contrast in the gardens. Whilst tiny parched apples dropped from the trees in bushels, runner beans belied their name and stopped dead in their tracks and the grass was bleached so blonde we could have been in Provence, tomatoes, peppers and (strangely) plums luxuriated in the heat. Who can remember an English summer when basil grew eighteen inches high in the veg patch, not a single crop succumbed to blight and the nights were warm enough to star-gaze without a sleeping-bag?
August on our plot saw the hoses out, the hammocks up and the humans pretty idle. Others were busier! Plot 14's gate got a smart new lick of British Racing Green...
My morning tasks dwindled down to emptying the little straw-stuffed terracotta earwig traps hovering over the dahlias and checking the prop under the Victoria plum, groaning with the weight of so much luscious fruit.
The August air was full of the spicy scent of oriental lilies.
Gardener Helena harvested her fabulously beautiful borlotti beans, wearing her equally fabulous 'garden angels' pinny.
Now, as summer draws to a close, the days cool and holidays fade into memory, we're all stirring into action again. There's such a wealth of harvesting, digging, bulb planting, herb drying and hedge-cutting to get through before the first frosts.
It feels like a good time to launch our little Waterfurlong honesty-box stall, raising funds by selling surplus produce to improve the gardens for the benefit of everyone who enjoys this corner of Stamford. Our first four days have gone brilliantly, so do call in if you happen to be nearby!