I've accumulated a tan from the garden rather than a spray nozzle and worn out two pairs of flip flops (one of which expired whilst travelling across London and, let me tell you, nothing elicits stranger looks than a frazzled woman walking barefoot through crowded tube stations. Well, except smiling. That really freaks out Londoners).
But now it's coming to an end.
Still, I'm feeling upbeat and looking at the positives.
1) I can soon legitimately make mince pies
2) Strictly Come Dancing is back on screen
3) The nights are drawing in
I'll admit I won't find many people who share my passion for number three but stay with me on this one. You see there are some benefits to the days getting shorter. Chief amongst them is the chance to get outside in the dark with the kids without staying up ridiculously late. To make the most of this opportunity we set up our first moonlight garden this week.
It's very easy to do. First you'll need a lot of white. The illumination from the moon is not high wattage but it's very effective if you have plenty of white to reflect it to the maximum. We used stones and shells to form a path and seating circle and also applied emulsion paint to give old pots of Busy Lizzies (Impatiens walleriana) a spruce up. Of course, if you have any evening scented plants nearby such as honeysuckle, phlox or jasmine, that's an added bonus*.
With a full moon and a clear night the pale stones and pots will show up well enough to direct you to the garden. However, we did this when the moon was relatively new so I also put some solar powered fairy lights in a weeping silver pear tree as well as adding tea lights in jam jars around the edge. I even found a few glow sticks hiding in the Party Drawer (yes, that's right, I have a "Party Drawer" but let's not dwell on this).
When it's dark you can bring out cushions and rugs, light the candles and lie in your moonlit circle. It's a great spot for storytelling or stargazing or even a not-strictly-midnight-midnight-feast. Possibly with mince pies.
*If you want to create a permanent evening garden then it's worth checking out this book - Twigliht Garden by Lia Leendertz