First – drumroll please – some good news. I have managed to pass Year One of my Open University masters’degree – a ‘Pass with Merit’ classification which means – when I stump up the cash – I can go on to Year Two (which will actually be a full calendar year and not eight months). We celebrated on Tuesday with a reduced price Indian banquet (in a box from Tesco) and a shared bottle of Magners! Now I’ve just got to come up with a brilliant idea for my 15,000 word project (dissertation) – suggestions on the back of a seed packet please.

I’ve started – so I’ll finish. While this morning’s weather was in two minds whether to send a shower or some sun in our direction, I wasn’t hanging around. I’ve painted that horrible breeze block wall beneath the lavender border. Now that we’ve finished sealing the drive, it was the final thing that had to be done. I’ve even painted the gate post (not that we have a gate). It’s only taken me thirty-four years to get round to it. Just the garage door to paint (Hammerite ‘Chestnut’) and the white surround, and . . .

We humans may have been wilting in the heatwave, but iIt’s amazing what several a few days of hot weather can do. Allium ‘Drumstick’ mostly showing colour – will their bottoms change colour I wonder? When I bought the mixed allium pack last year, ALL were supposed to flower in May, yet it’s worked out better that flowering has been staggered across the last few months (especially from a photographic perspective). I’ve tied these to a bamboo stake as they were beginning to flop. At the start of the week, they still showed some green, by the end, they were colouring up nicely and full of bees.

Trying to photograph bees on the lavender is like trying to herd cats . . . but I got one in the end. I think this one is a female Red Mason bee as she was quite small. Interesting fact: red mason bees don’t collect pollen on their legs but on their hairy abdomens (and faces). I was also planning on joining the Big Butterfly Count (16 July to 8 August) but so far all I’ve seen in the garden is two small cabbage whites (frustrated by the netting over my brassicas) and one tortoiseshell (and not in the 15 minute slot required for the count).

Hebe ‘Champagne Ice’. This is the original plant that I ‘rescued’ in 2018 and took lots of cuttings from when I chopped off all the leggy growth (it’s a dwarf hebe). It now has a couple of flowers, as have one or two of the cuttings.

I did finally get around to removing the peony foliage in the front border in the hope that this gives everything else a larger share of water (when we get some rain) and sunlight (so my poppies/wildflowers might grow). According to my neighbour opposite (who spends more time at her gate than inside her house) the front border is attracting a lot of attention from everyone walking by. We don’t notice because we have kept all the blinds closed during the heatwave.

Do have a look at the other Six on Saturday posts shared by gardeners around the globe, c/o The Propagator. I’m off for some lunch, to finish my book, and possibly for an early siesta.