Today it looks as if we may at last have a bit of the rain we need. The runner bean plants are flowering too early and are covered in black fly. Home Guard potatoes have only just come into flower: Tim Rose Price (400 foot higher up) says he is eating his. My lettuice plants have been eaten by the slugs, and seed has twice failed to germinate: the rocket gone to seed. We have had some radishes, none exactly a prize-winner. Rhubarb is good; gooseberries and raspberries are now on tap. Caroline is fighting with the pigeons over the currants.
The Philadelphus, the pineapple tree, sweet peas and Sweet Williams are all flowering; and the lavender and a rather wonderful dark blue iris. The white clematis looks better than usual in our far apple tree. A tobacco plant has seeded itself by the door of the bikeshed. The oriental poppies are nearly over. Of the roses, New Dawn, the big rambler on the stable and Buff Beauty are all past their best, but Félicité et Perpétue is just coming into full bloom, and Compassion is as good as ever. On 17th June last year, my Datura had ten blooms - see photograph: this year there is so far nothing showing.
Graham Sutherland has a vivid drawing of Datura blooms in the Arts Council Touring Exhibition, "Geometry of Fear", currently showing at the Cheltenham Art Gallery, which I saw yesterday: it features work created in the aftermath of World War II - from the exhibits, a time of hope, as much as fear, it seemed to me. The show is very worth a look - if you happen to be in Cheltenham, Rhyl, Plymouth, Ayr or Leamington Spa between now and next March!
Th Gallery also has an excellent Hogarth print exhibition - on till the end of next month.