I’ve been quite content with the garden in its summer garb – the grasses and wildflowers having all turned golden in the heat. The dominant colour besides gold is white – from the umbels of Queen Anne’s Lace along the stonewall terraces and the rosettes of oleander on the hedge. (I’m not considering the herb bed where the lavender, rosemary, thyme, sage, and agapanthus are blooming in pale mauve and purple and blue, or the potted plants I’ve brought from Bonn, since they aren’t really part of the natural garden.) The chicory seems to be winding down, but there are still little clumps blooming, their blue fringes bright against the sere grass.
In the afternoons, green finches in groups – sometimes as many as five – come and peck diligently at the developing seeds. I’m rather glad I’ve held off having the grass and dried wildflowers mowed down –- it is so entertaining observing these colourful birds flocking in, performing acrobatics upside down on the stalks, and showing off their brilliant underplumage. They don’t seem to mind too much the sparrows coming close to have a look at what they’re so busily munching on, unlike blackbirds which are terribly territorial. But I have only seen the lone blackbird male here – unlike Bonn where they were the most numerous among the garden’s winged guests. I remember one awfully officious male blackbird chasing and scolding any females that would wander onto his patch near the hydrangea bushes.
Yesterday, looking like pieces of a sweet wrapper blown in by the wind, there were two little lilies in the lowest part of the garden. (Somewhere near there, we’ve been told, is the septic tank, though there is no external sign of it.) The lilies have no leaves, and they stand out among the golden grass in glowing pinky magenta. A closer look revealed stunning orangey-yellow centres. This morning they’ve been joined by another one in bud. What joy to see these delicate beauties brave enough to bloom in the heat of summer! I don’t know their name yet. I thought they were nerines, but checking up on online images, they don’t resemble them at all. If anyone knows their name, I’d be very happy to be enlightened. A friend has just commented that this is a species of Zephyranthes, also known as rain lily or zephyr lily. Thank you, dear A!