GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Summer is here, no doubt about it when you get out of the city and head for the mountains: the sun rose at 05:00 this morning in the Swiss Alps.
As the light suddenly streamed in I could hear what seemed like my newly planted geraniums singing, but it was an extraordinary chorus of birds.
The flowers, planted last night, have perked up wonderfully; geraniums and beautiful blue lobelia with the Alps is a happy marriage.
And then I heard the rest of the orchestra, tinkling bells on the young cows next door, who had started munching again, low baaas from some sheep put in a nearby field for a week or two. It takes a few minutes to shift your brain from hearing urban sounds to really listening to the mountain ones.
About the geraniums: I’ve learned that it’s worth spending more and getting bigger plants that resist our high winds and give beautiful flowerboxes quickly. We can’t plant them before 1 June at our altitude of 1,100 metres, and by then it’s hard to get 18 identical plants, so this year I’ve mixed white with pink centres and red with white centres, and the blue lobelia for contrast. I just learned that you don’t have to stretch over the balcony and deadhead the lobelia, a relief!