As summer slowly slips away, the last of the evening light fades all too quickly and dawn seems a long time coming in the early morning.
As the days grow shorter there is a faded softness in the garden on mild days when the sun shines weakly through the layers of cloud.
Even on a bright day when for some of the time the sky is an unbelievably bright blue, the air holds a hint of freshness which makes you shiver when the still hot sun goes in.
But for the most part, the mellow signs of autumn are now apparent throughout the garden and countryside.
The hedgrows are full of ripening and already spent blackberries
in the garden, the roses are gently fading
the tomatoes are gradually taking on colour, slowly ripening in what meagre sun there is
the crabapples are bright red, just waiting to be picked and made into crabapple jelly
the autumn hues are everywhere
the hydrangeas have lost their bright early summer colours of clear blues and pinks, and instead are turning soft rosy hues tinged with green and lilac like soft faded cotton summer dresses worn and washed too many times
bright berries show vividly against the green leaves as yet untouched by autumn tints
and the grapes ripen darkly on the vine, plump and juicy, with a frosted bloom
a little new colour in the garden cheers me, as the garden in general takes on that neglected and faded worn out autumn appearance
the last flush of white roses still softly scented
and the blooms of the sweet smelling honeysuckle are finally over for the year, now given over to berries
the outdoor peppers, although still abundantly flowering, are in a race against time to grow into peppers large enough to eat
and the tomatoes, although the golden variety are colouring up nicely now, the Oxheart still have a way to go
the first beetroots have been pulled and given away, but plenty more for us
and the remaining spring onions have finally reached a respectable size
the sweetcorn has ripened
the runner beans are coming thick and fast now, having recovered from the set back in early June when I first planted them out to be weakened by intense heat and heavy rain which burnt and shrivelled the leaves
the warmth loving hibiscus has only managed to produce a few flowers this year
a ladybird finds a resting place amongst some reddening berries
On the Gillyflower Home News front
Bella has successfully passed her GCSEs and got her place in the Sixth Form at school - lots of happy dances and sighs of relief and sipping of bubbly for a few days here in the Gillyflower household.
And a new Blackberry arrived in the post as recognition of all the hard work (rather belated as it was intended to reward the effort before the result)
To her (and our) delight, she managed to secure a couple of A*s, a generous sprinkling of As, a couple of Bs and a rather unexpected D for Drama, which the school are contesting for all the drama students as the majority got unexpected and exceedingly low grades - so hopefully that will be upgraded!
Poor Logan has had a male doggy operation and, as well as the obvious discomfort and confusion, has sadly had to suffer the indignity of wearing a lampshade type of collar for a week to prevent his licking his wound.
This somewhat curtailed his usual mad chasing of Bessie, but all Logan lovers will be pleased to hear that even by the day after he was trying to behave as normal, and we have had great difficulty in ensuring he has had the prescribed 10 days "rest" as he has tried to rush around like a loony as usual.
On the plus side, he has loved the "recovery" food ( a kind of meaty pate, served every couple of hours for the first few days - oh boy he couldnt get enough of it!)and has spent many happy hours on "Mummys" lap just like old times when he was a little pup and has, quite rightly, been thoroughly spoilt and mollycoddled by everyone.
Well, sorry this has been such a long post, thank you all so much for bearing with me, and thank you for all your comments on my last post.
Once School goes back I shall aim to return to a normal routine of posting more frequent but shorter posts!