Monday 28 June 2010


Midsummer is the best time to sit in the arbour when it is draped with long strands of buddleja alternifolia (alternate leaved butterfly bush), whose sweetly scented flowers last for such a short time. The blossom hangs in lilac clusters like beads on a necklace.

The strands are fine and pliable and can be used 
as decorative ribbons around a cake
 or the brim of a summer hat.

There is no perfume from the 'Iceberg' rose that clambers through the buddlejas branches, but it is worth growing for its purity of colour and its ability to flower continually throughout the summer months. A honeysuckle, that came as a rooted cutting from my mother-in-law, creates a solid wall of flower and heady scent.

The arbour faces east, overlooking the vegetable patch to the boundary fence, where the rose, 'Paul's Himalayan Musk', like the buddleja,  gives a short but magnificent display. 

It is such a sturdy rose and came as a small cutting from our previous house. Once the flowers have faded it will be cut hard back, becoming an anonymous piece of hedgerow for the remainder of the year.


They've cut the neighbouring field
and perfumed grass lies in concentric circles
like a maze.
I walk the crew cut edge.
Scythed grass for centuries has smelled this sweet,
it lies in ribbons green,
threaded with flowers still bright.
And my delight
with this one field in sunshine
shared only by a buzzard
high above
floating in mirrored circles
on the scented air.

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