I have been feeling a bit gloomy about my garden this year – along with most of the gardening population of the British Isles I suspect (with the possible exception of Mr Colborn).
It’s so hard to keep walking outside when it’s pouring with rain in the sure knowledge that you’ll get water in places it really oughtn’t to be however well waterproofed you are while also knowing you’re fighting a losing battle against the slugs and the weeds and the terminal torpor of those plants you want to grow. Everything is at best, half-hearted: or at worst, munched to a sad little stump just above the ground.
Or at least, that’s how it was in my head. I think gardeners suffer from an unfortunate habit of only seeing the things which are wrong. And that’s why I value Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens so much: it forces you to venture out with your camera and look at what’s good, and beautiful, and above all working. And it always leaves me feeling much better about things than I did before.
Here are a few of the lovely things I found, to my surprise, thriving and rejoicing in the relentless rain, and proving that this awful summer is, after all, good for something.

Astrantia major

Geranium pyrenaicum ‘Bill Wallis’

Rosa ‘Charles de Mills’

Rosa canina: not sure of the selection but it grows rampantly
over my front wall and flowers furiously all summer long

Hemerocallis dumortieri

Meconopsis cambrica

Tropaeolum speciosum ‘Cobra’

Paeonia officinalis, looking a bit louche and about to seed but
I rather like them like this with their corsets loosened

One of the very many oriental poppies seeding themselves about:
they’re almost a weed but I haven’t the heart to pull them out when they look this lovely

…and another one

Thymus ‘Coccineus Group’

Valeriana officinalis