In August the garden is surrounded by the sounds of children playing in neighbours’ gardens. I hear the rhythmic squeak of a trampoline, the ping back and forth of badminton rackets and the playful fighting of two young siblings. The oddity of a central London garden is that you are so close to others and yet can feel totally isolated in your own little haven at the same time. Over the years, I have grown trailing plants over the walls and fences, making the garden more hidden and private, but actually I’ve come to enjoy the sounds of others nearby and the regular visits from the neighbourhood cats (until they dig up my flower beds!)
Fruit and vegetables continue to delight through the month, raspberries taking over where the strawberry season has come to an end for me, an endless stream of courgette flowers from a single plant to pick and stuff, broad beans, carrots and aubergines all ripe and ready to eat. The cucumber plant has made an heroic escape from my little greenhouse, winding out of the window and onto the rose arch next to it. I let it grow; fascinated that one small plant can produce such an enormous number of tiny prickly little fruit. The first ones are picked and just about make their way into salads, although eating them off the plant is tempting! In fact, it is a temptation I cannot resist with the cherry tomatoes, only half of them actually making it into the kitchen, and half straight into my mouth! The sweet and juice pop so satisfying as I bite into each one!
My herb bed is literally overflowing. Bees cover the marjoram which has gone wildly to flower, and the bronze fennel is covered in yellow blooms, the seeds growing satisfyingly plump underneath. Mint and lemon balm fill the other corners of the bed, their delicious scents wafting up as I brush past.
Pink and purple still dominate among the flower colours; lilies are in full bloom, their exotic scent unmissable, fuchsias provide pops of dazzlingly bright pink and the clematis threads purple flowers in between the roses on the wooden arch.
I lie on the small patch of grass, watching the dappled sunlight through the trees above and feel thankful for my little patch of countryside in the city.