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We are already half way through the year, and in it is the hottest month. Summers seem to come around so quickly - or is that an age thing, as we get older time flies quicker? It certainly seems that way, probably due to the fact that we set ourselves too many chores and commitments that quite often end up in us not having any time left for ourselves. The modern day society we live in rushes everything and leaves little time for leisure - and the little time of leisure we do manage to snatch is equally as rushed. Such was our fleeting visit to the Chelsea Flower Show recently. Hordes of new and experienced horticulturists squashed on to the Piccadilly line, spewing out of Sloane Square station and marching as one down to Royal Hospital Road past the Chelsea Barracks like foot soldiers ready for battle. Nudge and barge through the turnstiles and head for - where first?” Check the watch...OMG I have to see it all.....CHAAAAARGE. Having lived in Portugal for the last twenty years, my wife and I have learnt to take the more Mediterranean approach and can amble about drinking in the atmosphere at a more leisurely pace. Unfortunately, the anticipated enjoyment of viewing the stunning displays and innovative designs on show were tempered with sweaty foreheads and bruised arms from the elbows of the masses, as they stood 12 deep around the exhibits, craning to get a clear shot on their iPhones. However, despite all its hype, I found many of the designs rather safe and lacking inspiration. Planting was crammed so tight that if had been placed in the real world, some severe cutbacks would be required in weeks rather than years. The colour schemes were cool and rather dull, with muted purples, blues and grey/green being the fashion of the day. I wanted loud, striking and vibrant. Where were my favourite burnt oranges or fire engine reds? Where too a striking Marjorelle blue that stimulates the soul and the senses? “Maybe next year” I say, as I casually look at the entry forms for show gardens. Hmmm - imagine cork oak trees, an olive grove, an Alentejo-style landscape, with accents of strong sunshine colours …? Back to reality, and the ‘heaven’ that is the Mediterranean. It’s hot and close to lock down, with all thoughts of the garden focused on water conservation and keeping plants moist and hydrated. It’s a tough time in the garden, especially if you’re working, but how wonderful is the early morning and sundown? A time for reflecting and relaxing - if you have the time! If not, make the time! A survey has been carried out that proves that spending just an hour a day in the garden is beneficial for your health and wellbeing. It’s similar to meditation and clears the mind from outside stressful influences. Us gardeners are all a happy bunch! So, turn off your phone, switch off the TV, pour yourself a cup of your favourite beverage and put your feet up in the shade with your monthly. As usual, the team has filled the pages with plenty on offer once again for July, with our normal mix of the educational with some satire and good humour thrown in for good measure. Enjoy.
Thank you so much for such a good read!!