Thursday, 1 July 2021

July Country Days

The July page from An Illustrated Country Year by Celia Lewis

(Puffins for my penfriend on a windy Scottish Island!)


 July is named in honour of Julius Caesar and apparently the word July used to be pronounced with the stress on the first syllable as in duly and truly. It changed to the way we say it now during the 17th century.

Dog days. the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11. a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.

Anglo-Saxon names for the month are Heymonath or Meadmonath referring to haymaking and the flowering of the meadows.

And from the other book by  Celia Lewis 'An Illustrated Coastal Year'


From the poem by Sara Coleridge..........

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.

"Gillyflower is an old name that seems to have been given to a whole group of fragrant flowers in the 14th-16th centuries. One definition says that the name means 'July flowers', derived from the French, juillet , (jillyflowers) This would make sense as French was the language of the Royal Court and was widely spoken. As time passed the name was used for mainly just for Pinks, forerunners of Carnations and the 'clove gillyflower' was Dianthus caryophyllus."

There were no Gillyflowers/ Pinks here so I have remedied that by picking up one from a stall on the Saturday market in Stowmarket. They are not a flower that I've had much success with in the past in other gardens but I'll try again.

There are very few weather saying for the days of July apart from St Swithin's on the 15th although in one of my books I found the following 

If you hear the Cuckoo after Old Midsummer's Day
Ere the end of the year your death duties you'll pay


 From the  poem 'January Jumps About' by George Barker (who I'd never heard of until I found this)

July by the sea
sits dabbling with sand
letting it run out of
her rather lazy hand,
and sometimes she sadly
thinks: "As I sit here
ah, more than half the year is gone,
the evanescent year."

That does seem a depressing end to the 1st July post! ......................

But on the plus side the Wimbledon bit of the Summer of Sport was pretty good yesterday with fairly straightforward wins for Cam Norrie and Dan Evans and it was a  nail biting night watching Andy M battling brilliantly through his second round - what a win! Not forgetting  a young unknown British girl Emma Raducanu won through to the next round too.
There have been years when no British player has got further than the first round so to have at least 3 in the 3rd round is a treat to see.
(I had a quick look at Le Tour but time trials didn't seem very interesting to watch. I'm waiting for them to get out into the country and up some mountains so I can see the views! )

Back Tomorrow




  1. I nearly gave up but eventually stuck with it, certainly nail biting. I don’t usually have success with pinks either.

  2. So pleased the tennis players were not to bad after they fell and you enjoyed the game.
    I brought a pot of pinks from Morrisons ( £1.30) has week and they are full of flowers I hope I get some cuttings.
    Hazel 🌈🌈

  3. I have neve grown pinks. But I love the fact that 'pink' originally meant 'to cut with a zigzagged edge' (hence pinking shears) And the zigzag petals gave the plant its name... And then the plant gave its name to the colour... The English language is glorious!

  4. Your garden is going to be glorious with all these new additions, if they survive ;-)

  5. A happy July to you and maybe the soil will be better for pinks - one of my favourite flowers. xx

  6. Individual times trials are not good to watch but they are interesting in terms of watching individuals times who are going to affect the GC which is why I listed a few names in my post yesterday. It did shuffle the pack as expected.

  7. We love your posts about seasons and months - keep that up.

  8. My son is a great tennis fan and has been watching Wimbledon on Sky TV the last couple of nights - I go to bed!

  9. I have no success with pinks. The pinks either die or the deer eat them. It is best to buy only plants the deer do not eat. Your ode to July is lovely. My father was a July person so I have a fondness for July. Sweltering heat and high humidity here. Fortunately, a rain/thunder/lightening storm last night reduced the heat to the 80's instead of nearly 100. Some relief, at last.

  10. July in AZ is stay inside when you can unless you are in the pool. And even that, we usually don't go in until 5 pm or after my hubby stops working. Enjoy July and Wimbledon!

  11. It's hot here in TN in the US. I'm staying in, cross stitching, listening to baseball, and watching the Tour. I love watching it each year especially the scenery. Like you, time trials don't appeal to me, rather boring but the racing has been spectacular. Now if the fans would act properly, we could have a safe, exciting tour.

  12. I always enjoy your first of the month posts. The picture of the puffins is wonderful!

  13. I adore those illustrations. Puffins are just the cutest thing (after penguins).

    I had perennial dianthus growing in the front garden for years. I should have dug them up and moved them to the back. The scent is wonderful.

    God bless.