Summer is here, finally, and it’s a whole new world out there.  I feel the warmth when I step outside in the morning.  I sleep with the window open.  The flowers are profuse and the wildlife abundant.  Ah, Ireland.  She is a sight to behold when adorned in her summer finery!

A few items of note here on the lane:  rabbits are everywhere, foxgloves are out, and I can’t bear to mow my lawn.   Let’s start with the mowing.  There are wildflowers covering literally every inch of ground in our gardens.  White daisies, dandelion seeds (which the birds go MAD for), little purple things, buttercups, ox-eye daisy ,st. patrick’s cabbage,  vetch, water avens, mind-your-own-business, spurge, speedwell, and I don’t even know what else!  Of course mixed in there are less attractive, but helpful, plants like dock.   I had complained for weeks about the on and off rain which was preventing me tending to the lawn.  Naturally, the gentle spring rains bring summer flowers.  DUH.  So when I finally had a good dry day, and was standing ankle deep in flowers with my mower…I simply couldn’t do it!  I left all of the shade garden, a very good patch in the sunny front, and all around the edges in the back (we have raised flowers beds in the back so I wanted a bit of differentiation).  They are just stunning!  I am hatching a growing plan to make the entire front sunny patch into a wildflower meadow next year!

Which brings me to the foxglove.  I love these tall, majestic plants.  They are beautiful, both their wide velvet leaves and their purple bell shaped flowers.  They are coming up everywhere and many are already in flower.  Not only are our gardens lined with them, but the  Fort behind the house is also (VERY fitting!).  They remind me of home, with their strong resemblance to mullein!  It’s not lost on me that both plants have rather similar folkloric associations: foxglove with The Good Neighbors and mullein with Witches.

Speaking of witches, pisog and rabbits (well, sure.  we all know witches and pisog turn themselves into rabbits this time of year!), down toward the mean cow farm there must be a huge warren of rabbits.  We see them almost every day down there now: big ones, little ones, and in-between ones.  We see them in the fields but also, surprisingly, just sitting out on the edge of the road.  A few days ago as we were ambling down some new lanes we saw at least 7 along a small stretch of road and several feet apart.  Lined up along the edge of the lane like little soldiers, or kids waiting for the bus.  What are they doing on the roads??