The hedgerows on Bere Island are beautiful in August.  They have never been sprayed with herbicides so are full of the wild flowers I remember from my childhood.  Yarrow, honeysuckle, the ubiquitous fuschia humming with bees, meadowsweet, purple loosestrife, willow herb, tufted vetch, birds foot trefoil -  isn’t that a wonderful name – knapweed, privet, montbretia,  the list goes on.  And with a bit more sunshine the blackberries will be ready.

I picked all these within a few hundred metres of home. 

In the garden the fresh early summer flowers are over but the follow up is pretty good. 

The high summer sun can leach colours so strong shades always win.

These colours are magnificent.

As well as providing  authentic Italian flavours to those pasta sauces, marjoram also provides nectar for the bees and is a great cut flower.

Mrs Finch, my absolute favourite rose which comes with a bit of  history.

Many years ago I was the head gardener – sounds much grander than it was – at a large garden in the south west of England.  The garden had been planted in the 50’s by the previous owner and in wide beds in front of the house was a musky-scented  pink shrub rose.  It had been bred by the then head gardener and named after his wife, Mrs Finch.  It was never registered so was never commercially available.  While I was working there I successfully took cuttings and the two I have flowering in the garden here on Bere Island are the grandchildren of those originals.  And last winter I took cuttings from these and now have great-grandchildren to plant wherever I may go.