Alas, hot weather and rain and brilliant sunshine have come together this year and aided and abetted by illness and the random need to read a pile of stuff about Hadrian's wars in Judaea have resulted in a truly horrifying case of Aaargh Day. The lawns, at least, are mown, but the rest of it... it's shaggy. Very shaggy.
This, for example. Colourful, I'll grant you. Red campion, buttercups, Jack by the Hedge, a cloud of purple perennial geraniums - and very soon there will be foxgloves:
Unfortunately, this is supposed to be a STRAWBERRY bed! I think I'll have to dig it out and completely start over. And don't look too closely at that hedge behind it. The Ash and hazel are running rampant!
The pond is absolutely swarming with yellow flag iris. Well, that could be worse. The frogs don't seem to mind. But if I ever want to get any herbs out of the herb bed behind the pond, I really, really need to have Stern Words with that campion.
And this is a hanging basket - I can't even remember what was supposed to be in it, but it's now 100% volunteer ivyleaved toadflax, which was Not The Plan. I suppose at least it's still full of something that flowers and does not sting...
Finally, and to cheer myself up, here is what may be my favorite of all flowering plants.
It is Centaurea montana, the perennial cornflower. It's generally a garden plant rather than a wildflower (probably an introduced species), though it grows in a robust, straggly wildflowerish kind of way. You do sometimes find it growing naturalised here and there. I love it because when I was, oh, maybe 9-ish, living in Swansea, I found a plant of it growing in a glade in the woods. It was oak woodland, so thick and dark, and somewhere in the middle, one sunbeam, and growing in the sunbeam, this remarkable HUGE delicate blue flower. Really magical.
I have no idea how it got there - it may have been garden waste, or it could be that there was a house there that was abandoned or perhaps bomb damaged during the war and never reclaimed: I remember my 70's childhood as being full of sunny places strewn with weedy rubble, full of half-collapsed walls, all overgrown with ragwort covered in stripy cinnamon moth caterpillars... I still have a soft spot for ragwort.
You will note that I have one photo with a bee, and one without. This is because just as I had manoevered round to get what would undoubtably have been an awesome closeup shot of the bee with the pollen pin-sharp on its black furry legs - Suma Bungle came marching up and shoved his inquisitive nose right up Ms Bee's bottom. Understandably enough, she took offence at this, and buzzed off. Thank you Suma Bungle...