Fieldnotes, June 2022
June is aflame with sweet peas, roses, strawberries, snapdragons, poppies, lupins, daisies, buttercups, foxgloves, wild campion, allium, ammi, wild carrot, geranium. June swarms all around us like the hum of a bee. It has been a variable weather month, chilly nights lingering through to mornings, a lot of rain, fierce winds, scorching bouts of sunshine. But the long days that stretch out so luxuriously and the moisture leftover from the rain tolls that the growing season is well and truly under way and we strive to keep up. I often think surely it can't get better than this but with every passing day, more flowers appear and I bask in the delight that there is a long summer of interest ahead. The inescapable tick tock of the seasonal clock brings a growing awareness that we are now angled in the descent towards the last half of the year. As our attention is swayed to the glorious outdoors and we get distracted by daily harvests, weeding, watering, and all the other never ending tasks, a few trays of forgotten seedlings lie struggling in the propagation tunnel. With a no more holding back attitude, everything must go into ground now and we find time to plant those leftover trays without labels and wait for them to surprise us! Time is moving fast now. There is always a lot to do. To make hay, as they say, while the sun shines. The foliage of the spring bulbs wilts like stir fried spinach, roses break bud like hatching eggs, sunlight hits puddles creating such a harsh luminosity it is like staring directly into a lightbulb and the lingering impression remains behind the eyelids for a few seconds.
Roses bring a joy like no other with their petals as perfect as fresh laundry, the colour of their buds spreading like flushed cheeks and gradually changing and becoming more muted as the flower ages. Each rose a complexity and an experience to behold. We wander through the polytunnel sniffing each one like a veritable wine tasting. Taking in notes of citrus, vanilla, cinnamon, liquorice, candy, spice, and soap in through the nostrils and into the memory forever. There are scents that you know but can't find the words for, locked in a place beyond the tongue. There really is nothing like being centred within pure delight, of nostalgia and all the rushes of emotion that can be conjured by something as mundane and powerful as a flower.
So many of our experiences are online, made digital, channelled, compressed, and less rich as a result. When I take in the scent of a rose, I understand in that moment the difference between a transaction and an interaction. And how important it is to find ways in which our joy can be more enduring and not just burned up within a furnace of technology. I realise that you are reading my words on screen so within this magical month I encourage you to make time to sit, look, listen, and do nothing much at all but simply wander around, touch the leaves of a plant, run your fingers along the rough bark of a tree, dip your feet into a stream, a river, the sea, listen to the creatures that sing, seek out the sound of crickets, seek out experiences with nature and soak it all in. Be thankful for the gifts. Happy summer days each and every one you.
Lauren & Louisina x