Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Sunday, 19 June 2011


Towards the end of summer, from late August on, hedgerows grow weary. Leaves hang limp and dusty from sycamore trees; grass wilts, pales and yellows; the air hangs heavy. Everything longs for the freshening winds of autumn, for showers and release.

It's generally a time of excitement. We'll miss the old but welcome the new.

It's the middle of June - and summer is already tired, even before it's properly begun.

Buddleia stutters open

from thin buds.

* *

Viper's Bugloss

is small and weak and falls over easily if knocked.

* *

Sloes seem to have stopped swelling

and haws are reddening before they have got to any size.

* *

It seems rainlessness has propelled the season forward and some plants are suffering for it

. . . but blackberry blossom reminds us autumn is a long way off because little of it has yet opened.

* *
Gorse is gorse.

It flowers all year and smells of coconuts when the weather is hot. There are always seed pods. When the sun comes out they pop - you can hear them. It burns easily too. Its volatility may make us extra glad for late rain. Meanwhile, it's a good symbol for autumn in the middle of summer.


Mark Willis said...

If you've had rain like we have had the last 10 days or so, your plants will be having a second opportunity! The plants in my garden have had a fairly dramatic growth-spurt.

Plant Mad Nige said...

The smell of coconut, from gorse is amazing. It's a bit like cheap coconut sweets, or certain brands of sun creme.

Buddleia, I think, smells like cheap perfume with a hint of ash trays in the background - perhaps like a tart in a pub before the smoking ban.

Anna said...

Oh no Lucy ~ sorry to hear that there are signs of autumn in evidence before we have hit mid summer. Here in the north west we have had much more rain so plants are not struggling as much. Never knew that gorse smelled of coconut ~ will have a good niff next time I pass some.

Pat Tillett said...

I've never seen, or heard of half the plants you seem to see regularly. Thanks for posting them!