Summer garden: the rise and the fall

Dahlia - the summer garden

It’s high summer in the garden in Scotland. So it’s worth making a record of what is looking good right now.

The Rudbeckias are shining, the Achilleas are glowing and the dahlias are opening their multiple buds to show their glorious diversity.

It feels to me as if this moment was a long time coming.

It is much cooler on average here than in London (or Sydney) where I am used to gardening and maybe that is a factor in the slower progress to flowering and maturity.

But never mind, this slow crescendo is a wonderful thing.

For me, gardening is probably about hope and anticipation more than anything else.

There is undoubtedly a deep satisfaction in seeing the mature garden performing at its best, but there is a thrill in the planning, the waiting and the expectation.

So as the summer garden reaches its peak and thoughts turn to the shortening days and gentle decline that will set in over the next few weeks, we are reminded that nothing is permanent, change is constant.

And we are reminded that as gardeners, we are entirely embedded in that cycle of birth and death, growth and decay, and that it is this that energises us and drives us back to the soil and the plants year after year.

Perhaps Robert Frost puts this best.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

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