I've been wandering about the house and garden with a couple of DH Lawrence poems floating around in my head. The first one, 'The Best of School' is prompted by the way I'm running the house at the moment in an effort to keep the rooms cool, closing and opening blinds as the sun moves from east to west. I've known this poem since my schooldays and love the noise the words make; the long-drawn out, 'drawn', 'room' and 'gloom.'
The blinds are drawn because of the sun.
And the boys and the room in a colourless gloom
Of underwater float: bright ripples run
Across the walls as the blinds are blown
To let the sunlight in
It's worth the effort of pulling the blinds down and up, twenty-one blinds in all, because it does keep out a fair bit of heat. It feels rather like sailing a boat!
The other Lawrence poem that I've remembered is, 'Snake.' The other day I was shocked to see a long, yellowish snake swimming across our small garden pond. I'm hoping that it was nothing more troublesome than a grass snake. I wasn't, like DH, wearing pjs, but I did have open-toed sandals on my feet and have walked round the pond area very carefully ever since!
A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot-hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there
The poem continues
Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second-comer, waiting.
This was just how I felt, disconcerted and rather alarmed, but also fascinated, aware that so many creatures that I never, or rarely, see share my garden space. I've peered into the pond since then to check on how my newts are faring in this extreme heat. Only one to be seen. I do hope that the snake hasn't eaten all the rest. Time to go on google and find out what snakes eat!
Monday 9 July 2018
Well, that will teach me to brag about my green garden. Take a look at the lawn now!
It's not a pretty sight.
I've got very light, sandy soil. It doesn't retain moisture and in this extended heatwave established plants and even trees are dying. One of the apple trees is really suffering and has shed nearly all it's leaves.
The climbing 'Iceberg' rose has died
and many of the veg plants are struggling. I think that crops will be very poor this year.
Flowers that should be at their best are limp and fading in this unlikely temperature of nearly 30c day after day.
We are saving all the house water that we can to put on the garden. Buckets in the kitchen and a hosepipe rigged up in the bathroom. We've jammed it in the window frame to syphon our bathwater out and under the trees. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
But some plants seem to be thriving. The sweetcorn looks good
and the hollyhock are happy.
The white foxgloves have finished flowering but I've left the flower heads on so that the seed can ripen.
It's not all bad news,
I'm still picking fruit
and it's good weather for washing sheets and blankets!
I hope your weather isn't causing you grief.