The last month of fabulous sunshine followed by the last few days of magnificent rain have meant that the garden has put on a huge growth spurt over the weekend, and now everything is about a foot taller than it was a few days ago, and so many flower varieties look to be on the very brink of blooming.  Flowering on full throttle right now are the lupins, thrusting up their luscious pepper-scented stems in rainbow colours, soft and sugary and fatally attractive to aphids.  We rub the little nuisances (plump and gorged, unlike the rose aphids which are tiny and airy) off the stems and leaf buds with our gloved fingers, and every day Barney sprays the plants with a mixture of garlic and seaweed, the garlic which is hoped to repel (but sadly, not kill) the aphids, and the seaweed to strengthen the plants and give them extra oomph to resist the attacks.  The aphids are still there, but the flowers are so far unblemished, and the colours are just shimmeringly lovely.