August was a beautiful, busy and somewhat disastrous month- what with a bursting flower field to harvest and deliver, the return of weddings to prepare for, and calamitous accidents concerning dogs, trees and a poly tunnel, the month was full on. Looking back on it now, at least I remember laughing a lot.
With the easing of the UK lockdown, came the first call for event flowers, and it was heaven to put together arrangements in something other that a bouquet form. I love, love, love bouquets the most out of everything, but it was so fun to work on something different for the first time in months.
The late summer flowers began to fill the beds, and all the hard work of spring felt like it was paying off. By mid-month I began to feel as though I had forgotten how to sit down, and a worn-out anxiety began to creep in, as working on late night admin, and waking to harvest before the dawn became a relentless routine. Storms rumbled in the distance, and the rain I had dreamt of since the drought started in spring, seemed to fall anywhere but on our plot of land.
I spent four days listening to the far away thunder building to a crescendo only to disappear again, the skies sitting unshifting and heavy above, refusing to break, and as the tension mounted, it was impossible to tell whether it was the busy days without consistent rest, or the palpable pressure in the air that was making it hard to breathe easy.
And then my small world here began to unravel at the seams; on the Thursday Jimmy whippet ended up going under on a surgery table to get his side stitched up, followed on Friday by a beautiful old oak falling down. I watched as it snapped and creaked, and in slow motion, fell, squashing our new polytunnel, crushing a whole seasons worth of work and crop, and damaging the structure well beyond repair. Then a call came on the Saturday, a family member in crisis, and by the time I’d picked them up from the hospital, and bought them back here to recuperate with us, it finally broke- the great, big, shiny droplets of water came spinning from the sky, and the rain fell for hours; I went to bed and wept with relief.
In the following days, I cooked and cared in the name of healing under our roof, the heatwave returned, but the land look refreshed; I hid out of the heat, and spent the daylight hours documenting all the best varieties growing this year; a meditative, reflective project, a few days to soak in all the beauty conjured from the earth- it felt delicious and special, and I’m so glad to have had that time.
By the end of the month, I was prepping for last minute September weddings, Christmas shoots, and the seed shop opening- it was all go again. I walked around in a t-shirt to harvest festive evergreens in August- but seeing as time has moved so strangely this year, it didn’t feel peculiar at all.
The last few days of the month were spent on the technical side of getting to grow flowers- all shortcodes and data inputting for the website and web-shop, endless printing of the seed packets I’d painted the week before, and packing them up one-by-one in preparation for getting them to you. I had some time to sit on the grass with some friends too- and when I looked down, there it was; the first four-leaf clover I’d found in seven years. Here’s to hoping that my not-so-lucky August fortune will be all change this September.