Last week was a busy one, with the first side of the garden now sporting a smart new fence. The neighbours will be glad that their puppy can no longer escape through the old fence and (possibly) to freedom.
But the increasingly hot weather has made the work harder. For the contractor who is building the new fence, and for me as I clear away the overgrowth of shrubs and ivy.
Temperatures here have been reaching over 30 degrees C. For the UK, that’s very hot. For someone brought up in Scotland, that’s really uncomfortable. And it has made me wish for a bit more shade in the garden.
This place has become more of a suntrap than ever since our neighbours removed a lot of tall trees from their garden. Now the centre of our garden fairly bakes in the sun. So I am wondering what shrubs or small tree(s) I can plant to create a cooler space, but without causing too much shade to other areas.
I find getting a good balance in this kind of planning to be a tricky business. Meanwhile, ‘a green thought in a green shade’ (a phrase from Andrew Marvell’s poem, ‘The Garden’) conjures up enticing images of a soothingly green and leafy space. Though frankly I wouldn’t mind what colour the thought was, so long as it was a cool one!