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No prizes for guessing where I’ve been!

What precious seconds I’ve had to spare this summer in between juggling small children on school holiday and the normal demands of work have been spent out in the garden dodging the raindrops, so my computer has remained lonely and neglected in the corner. Now though with autumn in the air and everything beginning to wind down, and – most importantly perhaps? – the kids back at school, it’s time to catch up with what’s been going on!

Verdict on this summer – a washout, and I think everyone agrees. It hasn’t been much fun for anyone on the beach, but I think it’s been fantastic for the garden despite misery-guts moaning about floppy perennials from telly gardeners. That just hasn’t been my experience at all: the roses have been flowering fit to bust, having for once in their lives had enough water all summer in my thin sandy soil; my Amelanchier – which I shouldn’t really be growing since it’s from the American wetlands – has put on a foot of growth; and I haven’t had to pick up the hosepipe once. After the horrors of last year’s drought, I’ve been revelling in this summer: the light may have made it hard to catch the flowers at their shining best, but they really have been at the best I’ve ever seen them. And a few wet pairs of gardening gloves is a small price to pay for that.

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