The sun shines, everyone smiles, life is glorious. The fact that many of my plants are going a little crispy is minor collateral damage, in fact not even damage because it shows me what happens where in what is a new garden for me. So I have to say it's all good. And what a year to move near the sea, I feel so spoilt, able to get up really early to do whatever watering and picking needs doing and other morning tasks, then by 10.30 I can be down at the beach for a dip and a dry off on the baking pebbles, and home for lunch in time for the afternoon jobs.
Friends were here this weekend and we decided the world and his oyster would be at the beach so we went a little inland, to Mapperton gardens. A truly magical spot, one of my favourite gardens in Britain if not my favourite (and I have seen a fair few in the course of previous work) as it is both extremely designed and extremely simple, it fits in the landscape to perfection, combines formality with wildness, has majestic trees, stunning climbers, a good selection of herbaceous..... and on Sunday there was almost no one there apart from us enjoying the serenity and beauty. Sometimes there is a day that just feels so perfect you wonder if you will ever have another quite like it, a happy mix of all the right circumstances at the right time, in the right order, or something. We came back and had other friends for supper and played skittles on the croquet lawn in the dark. I lost.
And on Saturday there was a wedding in another magical spot, one of the little settled nestling Somerset villages where time stands still and visitors never discover. I just provided loose flowers for the family to enjoy arranging then took over bouquets and buttonholes on the wedding morning. I was quietly pleased when one of the family, who had worked as a florist, said they were the most beautiful buttonholes she had ever seen (a mixture of colours of rosebuds with phlomis italica, nigella hispanica, scabious, savory......) And the delightfully engaging bride wrote me such a sweet note this morning 'Charlie, thank you so much for all your truly wonderful flowers. The marquee looked incredible as did the marquee and I just ADORED my beautiful bouquet. You are a legend!!' Very kind! Followed in the inbox by a note from the week before's bride 'Apologies for how long this has taken but I just wanted to say a huge thank you for such beautiful flowers last week. We were so pleased with all of them and they were perfectly chosen in terms if style and colour. We have seen lots of photos taken by our friends and the flowers look amazing so I can't wait to see them in the professional shots! I'll be sure to send you some.'.....Also very kind, and I do feel a little chagrin when someone apologises for taking such a long time when it is only a week. Metaphorical slap on the wrist to myself as admin is not getting a lot swifter here I fear.
A rose by any other name and all that is not true. The rose my daughter and son in law gave me when they married is blooming away happily, but I'm afraid it smells rather tricky to my nose, musky yes but notes of something else that doesn't really beckon you to bury your face in its blooms. I can't remember which David Austin rose it is......