July is the traditional month for the making of mead. The Anglo-Saxons married the month to the meadows which were fully in bloom and ripe for producing rich golden honey. Mead, being both delicious and easy to make used to be drunk widely … I have made it and would recommend anyone to give it a try. It is, of course, alcoholic because of the sugar content of the honey and the use of yeast to make it ferment. Although it went out of fashion and favour long ago it is a rich, mellow, soothing and refreshing drink that lines the throat and gives the cheeks a glow.
Garden Lily in July
‘July, July here comes the magpie; there he will fly and here he will cry!’
‘A minute’s patience is an hour’s gain.’
July brings on Dog Days which it is claimed formerly begin on 3 July and last through until 3 September. For those who are unfamiliar with ‘dog days’ then it is best described as the sultry, low stamina time of the year when even time itself appears to slow down. The most well known of sayings that has been pinned around this period of time is ‘dog tired.’
‘Oh why is July the time of the fly?’
We celebrate or should I say recognise 15 July as being St Swithin’s Day – where it is claimed that if it rains on this day then for the next forty days and forty nights rain will follow. There is a very old rhyme that was used for people to remember the woe of St Swithin.
‘St Swithin’s Day if it should rain, for forty days rain shall remain – but St Swithin’s Day if it is fair then for forty days t’will rain *nae mair.’
There are two kinds of Evening Primrose. One is the Common Evening Primrose which grows to approximately 1.5 metres and is used in producing Evening Primrose Oil. The other is this small rockery plant that produces large exotic flowers … this particular one has been grown from seed and should be at its best in a few short days.