It's late summer and there's still plenty of sunshine and colour in the garden, with hints of autumn on the way. I sat on the terrace yesterday with friends to celebrate my birthday, where we sipped on a glass of a neighbour's delicious, unlabelled sparkling wine, made of grapes from her vineyard on the hill. We ate plump raspberries that ripen daily in the back garden, but I spared everyone runner beans for lunch.
The best value plants I've grown this year are the echinacea purpurea (top photo), which attract a variety of bees, bugs and butterflies and flower for months on end. It's taken them a good year to get established and they're obviously thriving. It's mesmerising watching the insect life that buzzes around them and the buddleias which are in full flower, much later this year. The apple crop looks hopeful on some trees, although others have been stripped bare by the deer that stroll into our garden when we're not looking. Garlic bulbs are drying in the sunshine; I have just four bulbs left to use from last year's crop.
The bottles have mostly been excavated from of the garden by Mr Smith during his landscaping projects. He's grouped a few of them on a sandstone bench where I think they look stylishly placed in an open air display, complete with rainwater.
A refreshed and recharged me (says she, feeling somewhat jaded and weary after weeks of keeping apace with the teenagers' social lives) is linking up to Mammasaurus's How Does Your Garden Grow after a whole month's 'break'.