IT is high summer, but I know gardeners everywhere are thinking already of Autumn.
We are moving from the blossom stage, the flowering that so happily attracts the pollinators at the start of the season, to the arrival and ripening of fruit.
No better is this demonstrated than with the elderflower, a tree revered as a symbol of fertility because it gives so much.
The great frothy flowers sit like open parasols in May and June and give rise to a cordial made for summer.
But now the berries are forming, dark treacly and tannin rich, they lend themselves to wintery brews, wine or sauces for game.
I see the year stride on in the swelling of the winter squash.
Summer courgettes balloon so readily, but their winter cousins need time, water and sunshine to grow.
They are a tricky plant in a small garden, gorging on nutrients and available space.
Now I see them getting larger and know there will be a time when the growing stops and ripening begins.
I know summer is coming to a close with the unfurling of the crocosmia.
This late summer plant chokes like a weed in my borders and I have cleared much of it.
But I have retained pockets of plants because their intense burst of fiery orange signals a heat which has taken a whole season to ferment.
The garden is a soft melody of pinks, purples and blues when the summer begins and when the colour inevitably drains — about now, in fact — it is replaced with burnt russets, oranges, bronze and bright pinks that are fired by the sun that ever sinks in the sky.
Soon the echinacea will come, the purple foliage of cimicifuga 'atropurpurea' and the ruby sunflowers.
I have cut back the ox-eye daisies which flopped under the strain of the rain.
The large leaves of the acanthus spinosus have stretched out in their place
There are changes every day, it races on and on.
The key is stopping long enough to see it all.
I am still sowing lettuces and leaves for winter salads, should find space for another row of spinach and cultivate some winter kale.
I know I'm pushing it to sow now, but I will anyway and I will also buy some bare root youngsters when the time is right.
I have so little space in my vegetable plot, this year I vow to use every spare crumb of earth.