Dateline: Cattaraugus County, western New York state
There are a couple of weeks in the year - and these are they - when western New York gardeners temporarily forgive one of their worst enemies. This is the upper section of our jungle at the moment...
Completely taken over by multiflora roses. Same thing across the lane.
During most of the year, they spread surreptitiously, hiding and lying in wait to trip you up and catch you in their infernal thorns, dragging at your clothes, scratching and tearing at your arms. But in June they burst into flower and give themselves away. Here's one that had crept unnoticed right to the top of a tree,
But it's hard not to say - in just these two weeks of amnesty, mind - "But they are pretty, aren't they?
Meanwhile elsewhere the peonies are a mixed bunch this year. One clump bloomed out of sight, hiding behind the hydrangea and seemed a bit miffed to be found out.
While two haven't deigned to flower at all. But there is some good news.
Chirpy, Cheepy and Chuffy, pictured here last week, have successfully flown the nest. At least I hope so. It's good news for the motion detector lights too.
Plus I wanted a foxglove forest. And this year I finally got one.
And the arch is looking, well, almost triumphal.
To see a hummingbird on the hummingbird vine as I did the other day, somehow makes it all worthwhile.
Shame that, with things as they are, there's no one except us to share it with.