The last days of Summer. The beginning of Autumn?

September (and sometimes October) can be one of the absolute best times of year here. The holiday season finishes, the beaches empty, people go back to work or school and… the weather is generally marvelous!

This year proves it again. Almost unbroken sunshine until today – which is why I’m writing this rather than doing whatever outside. The garden in particular and the wider countryside in general will enjoy today’s rain. It’s been very dry. And although I’ve been watering the real priorities – newly planted shrubs and stuff in pots – everything is thirsty.

There have been mushrooms: Millers, Saffron Milk caps, a few ceps and a beautiful Cauliflower fungus. But the main season has probably been waiting for this rain before it gets going properly.

The butterflies have continued to impress me, but there’s still time for some late special appearances so I’m not posting pictures of any just yet. Instead, more garden loveliness and a little bit of out and about:

Tigridia pavonia. The flowers only last a day and I think they’re amazing to look at rather than beautiful. I’ve got the (edible) bulbs in a pot sunk in the soil to keep the voles away. I might not want to eat them but I’m sure they would.

Venidium ‘Zulu Prince’. From seed this year. I’ll be growing them again. A bit of an untidy, sprawling plant that needs a lot of dead-heading, but it’s been flowering since June. Well worth it.

This poppy was self-sown and I left it to flower despite it being inconveniently placed amongst my onions. I’m glad I did as the yellow stamens are quite unusual and very pretty. The bees seem to prefer this poppy to others in the same patch with inky black stamens. The yellow attracts them perhaps?

Cyclamen hederifolium with more flowers than I remember before. These have seeded themselves (helped a bit by me) around the garden from one initial corm (sadly voled this year – one of many casualties.) They enjoy a summer dormancy so don’t seem to care about the drought, and come bouncing back – flowers first, leaves later with their ivy-like markings; hence the ‘hederifolium’.

Asters and Sunflowers lasted well as cut flowers…

The wonderful and huge Cauliflower fungus (Sparassis crispa). At the foot of an enormous pine tree in Huelgoat Forest. Some of it got eaten and some of it got dried and jarred for later.

Wild rocket in flower at the coast.

Sea holly (Eryngium maritima) in flower. The first time I’ve seen it growing in the wild.

Shells from Beg Douar cove near Plestin. The ‘sand’ is made of tiny fragments of crushed shell – like Porthcurno beach in Cornwall.

A new favourite place to explore. The Gorge de Toul Goulic. Not that far away, so I’m not sure how I didn’t know about it before? A rocky chaos and meandering paths through steep sided beech and oak forest…. and a stream that was gurgling gently as it appeared and then disappeared underneath the boulders. I’m looking forward to seeing it after heavy rain when I imagine it will feel and look completely different.

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