Just before I went on holiday, I was delighted The Guardian Gardening Blog accepted a guest post on how to spot it's summer. I didn't realise that comments would be closed by the time I came back, so I'm unable to thank those people who took the piece at its light hearted face value and added their own contributions. Here will have to do instead, so thank you.
To those others who saw fit to add personal remarks, I'll say only this: I'm glad I was out in the real world enjoying myself at the time. Of course everyone's entitled to their own opinions and The Guardian was right to show them as they say far more about the commenter than they do about me. However, it would be much better if the same standards used when judging my piece were applied when commenting. I don't mind disagreement or criticism of what I say - what a boring world it would be if we all agreed with each other - but a constructive comment saying why or what's wrong, means something can be done about it next time. I'll keep on writing and submitting guest posts and in future any personal remarks coming my way will be met with a dignified silence.
To all of you who added something in my defence on the original piece, here or via e-mail, thanks so much and I'm sending you hugs and all good things your way. You helped me to keep it all in proportion and made a huge positive out of a negative experience.
Now back to normal business. I've since realised that by posting on The Guardian blog instead of on here as originally planned, a number of you wouldn't get to comment as the required signing up for our media's blogs tends to make Blogger Word Verification look a breeze in comparison. I'm sure Jane Perrone won't mind my re-publishing the list which caused all the fuss, and I'm also confident you'll respond in the spirit of what I've written, just like you did back in the spring ;)
You Know It's Summer When...
- The news is full of stories of hosepipe bans
- The weather forecast has a severe weather warning for flash floods
- You're glad you never got around to the spring lawncare because the clover and moss are the only green things left in your lawn
- The entire housing estate smells of barbecue lighter fluid
- Parts of the garden are flattened by cats finding a sheltered spot from the sun
- You're frantically picking crates of courgettes and tomatoes
- In spite of your best efforts, you still find at least three courgettes of marrow proportions the next time you go a-harvesting
- The lounger's a permanent feature in the garden, but somehow you never find more than 2 minutes to lie on it
- The dawn chorus has stopped apart from two pesky pigeons who insist on a most repetitive duet right next to your bedroom window. Plus there's the raucous flock of seagulls from the railway station flying over the house at 4am (the nearest bit of sea is 40 miles away BTW)
- The patio's too hot to walk on in bare feet
- You're amazed at just how quickly things can grow/die/run to seed/insert plant disaster of your own choice during your holiday
- You find yourself making jam or chutney on the hottest day of the year
- You were awash with seedlings in the spring, but you still have spaces in the garden
- You're still behind with your gardening jobs
- It's warm enough at night to be in T-shirt and shorts whilst watching the bats fly around the garden
- Your local garden centre's employing someone to manage the traffic
- Alarmingly large cracks have appeared in your soil, which you try to fill with compost
- Bees drown out the sound of everything else, apart from your neighbour's lawnmower
- The wasps/mosquitoes/slugs/aphids/insert detested pest of your own choice are out in force
- You just love every minute you can be outside
- What else can you add to the list?
Enjoy the summer and your garden everyone :)