Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, July is the peak month of summer. Warm dawns are filled with birdsong punctuating a breathless silence, gardens flourish with flowers and produce, evenings are balmy enough for shorts and sandals. “Lazy” is the way to spend a summer afternoon. For me, July is also filled with family birthdays, including my own, daily dabbling in the garden, and a tradition of watching the Tour de France. This year, Angel’s buddy Charlie Brown spent a week’s vacation with us, a time for exuberant play for these best friends.
There always seems time enough to watch a spider web floating in the breeze or to track winged creatures flitting through the garden – sometimes they land on my hand as if to say “Isn’t summer grand?” I often retreat from the heat of the afternoon into the cool of the house, watching cyclists at the peak of their powers race their way through the breathtaking scenery of the French countryside. Rainy days are spent at the piano, working on new pieces to the rhythm of water falling through the woods and garden and the percussion of distant thunder. Most days end with another tour de jardin, seeing what the morning’s efforts accomplished and perhaps to spend a leisurely hour pulling the odd weed while sipping a bit of cool wine.
Here’s to the joys of July, days and nights of sensory delights to hold and treasure in memory for the rest of the year. Enjoy a few scenes of the denizens of the summer garden. (click any photo below to trigger the slide show; all photos ©2014 Lynn Emberg Purse, all rights reserved)
My life, I realize suddenly, is July. Childhood is June, and old age is August, but here it is July, and my life, this year, is July inside of July. ~Rick Bass
Your garden is beautiful! Exactly what I was looking for. I will enjoy visiting your site for inspiration. I have a toy version of your Angel,she also loves to garden.
Lynda, thank you so much for the follow and for your kind comment. Aren’t poodles wonderful in the garden? Angel is happiest outside with me and is very careful of the plants.
Poodles are wonderful In the garden,car,house,and our hearts.# poodlefan
The summer is almost over by now, but I still enjoy your post about the peak of the season. As always you show some wonderful images from your garden. Also seems like you have some great dogs.
Thanks for stopping by, Otto. The black poodle, Angel, is my special girl. Charlie belongs to my sister-in-law but is Angel’s best buddy and a frequent and welcome visitor. There is something very special about two poodles playing together! I miss all of the flower bloom, now that the garden is in a quieter phase.
Here we are in August and I’m just getting to this – work has been busy. I love the breathing spider web, which does express that midsummer afternoon contentment you describe so well. And oh, the garden! The shot with the bench – was it plum and pewter garden? – lovely – let me sit with you! Of course I love the daylillies and already forgot their names but the ones after the bench photo are may favs. It’s a bonus when a little insect perches on the petal. Beautiful photos, and I’ happy for you, enjoying the season heartily. Come see my Nitobe Memorial Garden post from Vancouver, CA – I know you’ll like it. (And Angel and her pal – how I’d like to feel that fur and romp with them).
Lynn, great to see you here! So glad you enjoyed the post. I know, I keep falling behind on everyone’s blog – time to catch up. I look forward to seeing your Nitobe garden post!
Your lilies and coneflowers are coming along great! 🙂
Thanks, Tracy! The lilies and daylilies are just finishing up but I’m hoping the coneflowers keep blooming until late September, at least.
WordPress is such a pain. It lost you again. Argh. Just Beautiful!!
WP problems, Audrey? I updated my browser last month and it seemed to help. I still have issues with the Reader sometimes though. Thanks for stopping by; I’m looking forward to catching up with the pups and flowers!
Beautiful photos as always. Hope you are doing well.
Thanks for stopping by, Paul! All is well here, especially enjoying the summer this year.
Lynn, I so love your work (in the garden and as a composer) that I forced myself to watch the entire spider video. I think I need to go get a glass of wine and it’s not even Noon. Yikes!
I am in love with your flowers, of course, and their beauty takes away the terror of the spider. 🙂
Oh my, Eleanor, I hope the glass of wine helped! To me, the spider web is a thing of beauty and I love having spiders in the garden – they eat many “bad bugs” and I consider them the gardener’s friend. But I understand your reaction; glad to know that the flowers counterbalanced the experience for you :-).
Delights for eye and ear alike. I hope spidey doesn’t suffer from mal de mer! His wavy web could make a good visual for a short theme. Strings would be indicated! 🙂
Thanks, Colonialist. The spider seemed to enjoy the floating web effect; it was certainly mesmerizing for me! Love the idea of writing music for this.
“For me, July is also filled with family birthdays, including my own…”
Mine too. Happy Birthday, Lynn.
Not incidentally–very, very nice set of images.
Happy birthday, Kerry! And thanks for the comment; any compliment on photos from you is a great treasure!
Your garden is beautiful, as always. You make July sound wonderful. I enjoyed the spider web in the breeze video. There was something refreshing and relaxing about it. 🙂
Hi Robin, and thank you. That spider web was magical; I don’t usually enter the gate from that direction, so I was lucky to see it and have time to film it.
Ah …. so relaxing … and Happy Birthday!
Thanks, Frank! I love having a birthday in the prettiest month of the year.
Fitting for a garden maven
Lovely, Lynn, and so deeply accurate, for my heart, are your images of the month’s rhythms and pleasures…Thank you for this beautiful reflection. I’ll toast you, with my own dusk-blessed wine and wish you a very happy birthday, too! Joy and merry adventures in your new year!
Kitty, I thought of you as I was writing this, so it doesn’t surprise me that you enjoyed it. Definitely a “slow life” reflection 🙂 Now I will think of you this evening while I sip my end of gardening day wine and send a silent toast your way.
Thank you, Mary, and thanks for stopping by!
An inspiring selection of images…and the quotes are excellent, as well. I enjoyed the gallery!
Cynthia, thanks so much for stopping by.; I’m delighted that you enjoyed the images!
You have a fine selection of day lilies.
I do, thank you Tootlepedal! I was a collector of daylilies for some time, before I had to handle a larger garden! Now I only collect “weeds” 🙂 Still, I admire the unique beauty of each daylily; surely they are the stars of the July garden!
I love your dog and your garden!
Thank you, Cindy! Angel is my best girl and constant garden companion.