The summer solstice has crept up on me this year, and already we have arrived at the longest day. I don't like to think of the days shortening, as it always seems too early in the summer for this, so I prefer to concentrate instead on celebrating the longest day. It's a time of early dawns full of birdsong, warm days and long evenings spent outside. For me nothing epitomises the magic of midsummer like roses. Our new rosa mundi has flowered for the first time and I love its soft stripes of deep pink and white.
I've just been outside dead-heading and as the smell of roses wafted on the evening air, those enchanted lines from Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' came into my head as they always do:
'I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopies with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine'
Our William Shakespeare rose is looking and smelling lovely at the moment.
And Gertrude Jekyll is as beautiful and deeply-scented as ever.
Following my usual tradition, I have lit a scented candle, and I wish you a Happy Solstice and some of your own summer magic x