Summer 2011

Summer? What summer? I write this in mid August with the first morning mist hanging over the fields. It must be autumn already. But look at the trees. They think it is too. At home the poplars are turning yellow and in Gimswood the edges of some of the leaves there are changing colour. It must be a response to the lack of water in spring and early summer: to stop the tree from dying from dehydration, let’s lose our leaves and wait patiently for next spring to try again. Isabel’s Tree and Anne’s Tree, having only been planted last winter, needed - and still need - to have the odd bucket of water to keep the roots alive.

And so it goes on. The cracks in the ground are even wider. The ponds, luckily, have not dried out, but they are consistently low. There has been some rainfall recently, but it seems to have made no difference at all. Perhaps all it could do was to keep the trees and shrubs alive, and even the herbaceous plants are still there. I cannot ask for more than that.

It was a beautiful day on a special weekend that I did my first guided tour of Gimswood with a large party of people. Perhaps my enthusiasm came across rather more than my skills as a presenter – but, hey, everyone enjoyed it. It was warm and sunny, there were birds singing, flowers flowering, dragonflies hunting, butterflies everywhere. In fact, from all points of view it really was looking at its best and could not have put on a more beautiful show for us.

It is at times like that that I am so pleased to have created all this, with Nature’s help. And it makes me think to myself, why don’t I come down here more often, just to Be here, rather than stuck at home crouched over a computer or grumbling at the garden weeds? Where do my priorities lie?