Red and yellow and pink and green…
Our meadow shimmers rainbows. Red and yellow, pink and green, purple and orange and blue… We didn’t do no-mow May. More one-mow, leaving patches. It is harder for Henri, who loves clean lines almost above all else. But the rains helped. For now we have knee-high buttercups, thigh-high ox-eyes.
Red is for poppies running through the fields, lining the roadside verges, astonishing splashes of scarlet like Chelsea Pensioners’ coats. Yellow is for buttercups in every size, particularly the flouncy clumps of marsh buttercup in the horse meadow with the summer lapwings and orchids. But also for the shy trefoil which unfurls through our grass.
Pink is for campions, ragged robin, herb robert, the apple blossom blush, but particularly for the sprawling banks of rugosa that hug the sandbanks and scent the beach at sunset. Green is for the near-translucent screen as the hedges and trees fill in; for the fingers of fresh growth on red pine. Early summer branches weighed down as though wearing a party dress. Mostly, though, for the new hornbeam leaf soft as a silk handkerchief.
Purple is for the fleshy orchids that pop up like mushrooms almost overnight, and as otherworldly. Orange for the calendula I can never resist. First sown from supermarket seed in the herb box, scattered now in mole hills, pots. Nomads in the grass, breaking through the borders.
Blue is for speedwell, so small you mightalmost miss it. For forget-me-nots, for chicory, sky-coloured cornflowers that partner poppies.
A last word, though, for white: the carpet runs of daisies, the tall ox-eyes. For the frothy banks of cow parsley that smell of summer. Huddled around our silver birch. Ghostly in early morning.
The year’s revelation is stitchwort, addersmeat. Starry constellations bunched together everywhere, punctuating our walkabout. Thelingering question is how long I can hold off Henri and her power mower. For now, though, there’s quiet joy where the wild things are.