Summer 2013 ... our glass is half-full

Prince Harry (left) the Duke and  Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Elizabeth II, look on from the Royal Barge, during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on the River Thames, London.
Prince Harry (left) the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Elizabeth II, look on from the Royal Barge, during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on the River Thames, London.

Those who take a pessimistic viewpoint on life, you know, people who see the glass as being half empty rather than half full, will have been having a field day this week. As we have been baked by day-after-day of warm sunshine, making June so far, perhaps the nicest weather for 18 months, at last there are signs of rain in the weather forecast.

So, instead of enjoying the fabulous weather and making the most of it, some miseries have been eagerly predicting “It won’t last!”, and of course they are right but there is no need to go on about it. Far better to enjoy it while you can. This weekend sees us enjoy the longest day, and the miseries see nothing ahead but the long slide into winter. This week various supposed climatic experts have gathered to see if they can reach a consensus on why the UK has had a series of poor summers and extreme weather events have been commonplace. Is it the jet stream, sea currents, climate change, man-made pollution, global warming or sun spot activity. My guess, they all play a part and come together in different combinations to influence our weather, and whatever man may think, we are puny when compared to the might of the elements, and despite the wishes of all these scientists, likely to remain as unpredictable as ever.

This warm June has given most things a chance to catch up. The rhododendrons, though, late have been magnificent, with a few stragglers still showing colour. Now should be the season of the rose, but most are still only forming buds but under the recent sun, have put on a spurt of growth. They will soon be with us and I will feel summer has started properly. Thankfully, the quick growing bedding and basket plants have come on a treat these last few weeks and our decked area at home is full of daisies, begonias, dahlias, petunias, fuchsias and geraniums, and many more I can’t bring to mind without going out there for a look. The point is, stuff is growing beautifully, starting to push out flowers and there is colour everywhere. By planting a wide variety of plants you can be assured of results whatever the summer may bring.

Summer 2012 marked a low point in weather terms, and I’ll have the memory of Her Majesty stood stoically on that barge in the Thames at the river pageant for the rest of my life. Surely not again. But just as the weather has been unpredictable it has also been variable. So as I continue planting out other areas of my garden I am looking forward to sunshine dotted with the occasional spell of rain. I am planting a wide variety of things. As regards summer being over, I think the best is yet to come. The glass is neither half-empty nor half-full: it’s full to brimming over. Summer 2013: bring it on!