pervading romance

The continued heat and drought slowly stifles the garden with an air of languorous, heavy-lidded romance.  Too hot to work in the middle of the day, Barney begins his flower picking at five or six in the morning, and I go there in the evening to pick again.  Some of the plants seem to be unaffected by the lack of rain.  One variety, thankfully, is the hydrangea paniculata 'limelight', of which we have much as all our customers seem to love it.  The verbena and fennel are predicatbly happy, and the zinnias appear to be strong and healthy, although their growth has slowed down,  The cosmos and dahlias are also looking healthy and lush, but on closer inspection their flowers - especially the white ones - are tinged with brown, and we cannot pick them.  I don't know whether this is a result of the heat or the drought, but either way we are praying very much for rain now.  Amazingly, the sweet peas are doing magnificiently well this year.  They flower on and on, vibrant and fragrant and lovely, on long, strong stems.