It is hard to believe that this is the same tree, that just a week ago was driving me to distraction, but here it is starting to fill in and provide the blessed cool shade just in time for the summer heat that has crept up on us. The leaves will continue to thicken and then darken until the canopy is a sea of green outside my bedroom window. It is amazing how everything is suddenly shouting summer at me, and not only is the leopard tree finally looking better, but the agapanthus is starting to bloom, and the first purple bulbs are bursting through the green case. I am rushing to get the larkspur stems and leaves finished so that I can draw this incredible bloom that I love so much. To me agapanthus have a special meaning because they mean the end of school, and the beginning of the summer break, which of course means no uniforms, drop off and pick up and lunch boxes and all this is replaced lazy mornings with no alarm, afternoons in the pool, mangoes, lychees and cherries, and all the joys of the long summer break that are just around the corner. We are currently in that frenzied last week of school activities and I am madly trying to get a few projects finished and starting to look ahead to long days in my studio while Phoebe is in the pool. This is the first year when I will be able to overlook the pool while she swims as the studio has a huge window overlooking the pool and back yard, which is an exciting thought after the years of having to drag things out to the back yard to keep her company and provide supervision. It is all feeling a little luxurious at this stage. As if all those wonders aren't enough to look forward to then rounding out a magnificent week for summer botanical inspiration is the huge bunch of peonies which are in residence on my desk.