It is May, my favorite month!
The verges are burgeoning with cowparsley, the Oak Trees are lightly veiled in a trace of sap green, this year it is racing ahead of the Ash, and the hedges are clothed in green and bursting with blossom. Everything is fresh and new! The birds burst forth in song at the crack of dawn and busy themselves all day long collecting morsels of food for their young prodigy.
This abundance of fresh greens will, over the next month, mature into the rich, deep vibrant hues of summer. It is in the month of June that all sorts of treasures will blossom including the glorious Foxgloves along with the architectural splendour of the Lupins.
Amongst the vibrant explosion of growth will come the humble Strawberry plant, stumbling low down in the fruit bed, lifting it’s head only to reveal it’s modest blooms. And yet who can wait to sneak the first of it’s fruit from the garden, sun warmed and dripping with juice, stolen and eaten whilst no eye glimpses…. with all the indulgence of the first Eden?
As the swallows are the harbinger of summer’s arrival, so Strawberries are the evidence of that return!
I remember going strawberry picking, years ago, on a gorgeous bright warm day, in early June. I grew up near Upton upon Severn, a town on the River Severn in Worcestershire, which has a strong association with Jazz and Blues music. Upton hosts a fabulous Jazz festival each year in early summer. We were in a field overlooking the rooftops of Upton; including the tall slender church spire (itself a Jazz venue) and the historic ‘Pepperpot’. We could hear the Jazz blown on the warm June air as we picked and stuffed ripe strawberries into our mouths and a few into the basket! How English… blissful memories!
So here today, the Strawberries are ripe in my small cottage garden, I’ll pick some for our tea… and we’ll have a Pimms to celebrate the arrival of summer.
This is it’s first proof. It is still in the editing phase and I must go back to the Lino and refine and cut into a ‘fluent’ design. And then I will share with you more photographs at the stage that I paste it onto my bedroom wall. Maybe I will print it on metallic gold, perhaps in this vibrant shade here or another warm hue that captures the rich summer’s glow.
And so, here it is… ‘Strawberry Fields’…. forever!