Signs of Summer

 

The sizzling heat and clear blue sky?  Sadly not.  We’ve been through a week of intense showers which have either left us dripping or peering through windows and feeling thankful not to be out there in it.  But still, it’s the end of May and there are signs of Summer around.

 

IMG_8388

 

This philadelphus by the garden room door has been in bud for a while, but this morning, I noticed that it’s finally come into flower.  We need some still warm air to bring out the fragrance though.

 

IMG_8387

 

No such specific conditions needed for this not-so-little beauty by the garage steps.  The heavenly scent hit me the minute I turned the corner.  It’s not exactly a tidy bunch of plants, but oh my, it makes up for that in many other respects.

 

IMG_8385

 

The colour!  No changes made to this picture – that fluorescent pink is straight from the camera.  I love it.

 

IMG_8384

 

A quieter but equally pretty cousin is flowering in a different border, slowly being strangled by all kinds of thugs which need to be dealt with.  I rescued a few flowers and brought them into the kitchen.

 

IMG_8375

 

It was the sight of the blowsy white blooms in the hedge which took me outside this morning, though.  At least a week earlier than usual, the elderflower blossoms are beginning to come out in force and knowing that we have only a limited time to capture their magic, I went out to gather a few.

 

IMG_8378

 

Each one of those little flowerlets packs a punch of summery goodness to be bottled and enjoyed right through the year.

 

IMG_8380

 

I cut a large bowl full, enough to make a couple of litres today, but will watch those blooms over the next couple of days and make as much as I can before other preoccupations take over later in the week.

Incidentally, the usual problem of sourcing any quantity of citric acid has been resolved this year.  When my local chemist couldn’t find any stock at all from their wholesaler, I resorted to looking online and found Intralabs, where not only was it considerably cheaper (even taking P&P into account) but their excellent service won them another enthusiastic customer. 

Counting

Learning curves