early summer and conditions already challenging

The spring party's over, gone to seed. Despite the rain the sandy soil is drier than ever. Maybe it's  because the rain washed away the top layer of compost and mulch.

Anyway no more rain for a while, I think, and the temperature is rising.

Lots to do. The problem is to decide where to start. One priority is to cut back the foliage on the fence when it blocks the footpath. Most people walking past don't carry a machete. Just as well, come to think of it.

Canary Island Wormwood 
I try not to move things around in summer, because it's stupid, but sometimes I take the risk. OK, call me stupid, often I take the risk! L gave me some plants she propagated from her garden, yellow wallflowers and feverfew. Planting these will be a high priority, and will involve some transplanting to make them fit nicely into my current garden vision.

Sheets and sheets of droopy violets are strangling lots of things, and are no longer the least bit attractive, so bit by bit I've started pulling them out.

And of course as the annuals go to seed, I pull them out and need to cover that bare earth asap. If there were any worms, they'd already be cooked in the hot exposed soil.

There are lots of common brown butterflies.  I've seen a few other butterflies, and a few damselflies.  I haven't been quick enough to photograph them, so you'll just have to take my word.


Smoke Bush 'Grace' 

Opium Poppy


Kniphofia trianguylaris 'Shining Sceptre'

Alygyone heuglii Pink Form

Nigella Seed Pods

Opium Poppy Seed Pods

 Appreciation to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Gardens Bloggers Bloom Day, where gardeners all over the world post about what's currently happening their gardens.

I'm needing a break from blogging, so I wish all my friends in cyberspace happy christmas, happy hannukah, happy holidays, happy new year... or just happiness, however and wherever you find it. 

See you later ...


  1. Merry Christmas and a happy new year, Catmint!


  2. Happy everything to you too! Enjoy your break and we'll eagerly await your return. Say, is that flower in your first picture a puppus ohso cuteum?

  3. It has been raining non-stop here. Yes the rain does wash away those good compost. Have a good break and very merry Christmas :-D

  4. Happy Holidays! Stay cool--while we're trying to stay warm here. :) I'll have to live in summer vicariously through you. That Smoke Bush sure is pretty!

  5. Happy holidays to you as well. Hope summer goes easier on you this year.

  6. Happy Christmas Catmint, hope your summer isn't as hot as your last one and that you come back refreshed soon, will miss you!

  7. Hi Catmint. Be in no rush to reply. I love your row of silvery everlastings? Dusty Millers? whatever they are. And yes, the heat's been a bit of a shock - so much, so soon.
    May all be well in your world, with unexpected sparkle.
    X, Faisal.

  8. Have a great break. I wish you a big happy holidays too. Enjoy your time off with family.

  9. I love the look of your smoke bush. Merry Christmas and ditto on Faisal's "may all be merry in your world, with unexpected sparkle."

  10. Interesting to see the nigella and poppy heads in a different setting. We too are having rain . . . and rain . . . and rain.

    Best wishes for Christmas. Enjoy your break.

  11. catmint wishing you a Happy Christmas from your lovely hot garden...it is pretty!!

  12. It is such a treat to visit a garden in full bloom when everything is so brown and grey here. I move plants well past the time I should as well, so you are not alone. I usually try to do it when rain or an overcast day is forecast. All the best for the holidays! Enjoy your break!

  13. Happy Holidays to you and yours! I love reading your blog - being on the opposite side of the year it's a wonderous thing (yeah, I have a bit of trouble getting my brain around the fact that you're going into summer and I'm just getting started with winter). Enjoy your time off.

  14. Happy New Year, as I drip quietly at my computer!

  15. Happy holidays! LOVE your nigella! It won't grow in my climate.

  16. Oh, how nice to see your garden in bloom. I am stupid, too! I planted a few things over our very hot, very dry summer and moved things around and ... well, I hope things come back in the Spring. I love poppy seed pods and just painted some. I find them very beautiful. I must, must, must grow some Nigella in my garden this year!

  17. I think I remember the sun. I was feeling envious but then realized this is the way our planet works. Have a wonderful time in the garden.

  18. As we head into Winter, I do love seeing Summer elsewhere on the globe. Imagine that we are using the same water as the dinosaurs. We have what we have and we must take care of our water!
    Enjoy your break, I took one and came back refreshed!

  19. Happy New Year Catmint, I love your photos especially the one of Cotinus flowers.

  20. thank you for your good wishes, dear cyberfriends.


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