Most commonly we are said to have four seasons, but being thoroughly involved in the landscape it seems evident to me that there are five: winter freezes, bringing dormancy and hibernation, spring is the time of waking, summer is the time of flowering, harvest is the time of fruiting and bringing what we sown, and autumn is the time of leaf fall and letting go.
They meander over the months of our year, but winter is often late November until late February when the hedgerows and snowdrops come into bloom with the first whispers of spring. Summer takes over in early May and lasts until mid July, when harvest comes, lasting until the last of the warm evenings of September.
On such a reckoning we are in the midst of harvest, and at Sun Rising this is evident with the cutting of the wildflower meadow and tidying of burial areas.
It took us a week or so cutting, mowing, strimming, scything, and a weekend to rake it up. In the wildflower meadow, where we are striving to keep the soil fertility low, it is crucial to gather up and remove the arisings; beneath the growing trees we do so less stringently and only to make sure it looks natural but not messy. Our volunteer day on Saturday saw 20 sturdy and wonderful people, gloved and booted, wielding rakes, gathering up the hay. It was a beautiful but hot day, and there were good breaks for drinks and picnic, with some lovely food brought and shared. Thank you to all!
The burial ground looks quite different now. After some rain this week, the stubble will green up. We’ll tidy the paths in a week or so, then the final mow will take place in October, ensuring we are ready for the winter.