It is June, and we are but a few weeks away from Summer Solstice. I’m not quite sure how that can be, but it is. Such a lush, green, floral bedecked time of year. Just a week or two ago the shrubs and perennials were tightly budded against the cool and damp; but this past week, coaxed by warm days, they have exploded in exuberant glory. Not a moment too soon, I tell you. If ever I have needed the beauty of spring, it is this year.
So much of last year was dimmed by concern and uncertainty. Last spring was a blur of pandemic preparations and adjustments of one sort or another. Once weather permitted, I threw myself into gardening, as it felt to be one of the few things I had much control over. Nature was the balm, outside the place to escape to. We expanded my garden, and I planted more of everything, too much more. It all certainly kept me busy. Summer found me struggling to keep gardens weeded and watered. I’d scan the skies for clouds and pray for rain, just as farmers during the Dust Bowl surely did. And then came the bumper crops of beans, potatoes, cucumbers, squash and more. We ate gloriously well, shared plenty, froze, canned, and dried the bounty. Our freezer was stacked with bags of frozen veggies, and our pantry stocked with jars that sparkled like jewels. All so satisfying, but by gosh, come autumn I was ready to rest. Escaping can be hard work.
This year I am gardening smarter. I will definitely be employing more soaker hoses, and spreading more mulch! We found we avoided most of the frozen vegetables, so I’ll not chop, blanch and freeze as many packages. Therefore, I don’t need to plant as many poles of beans, or hills of zucchini. (Oh, those sneaky zucchini!) I will plant more variety to enjoy in season, and I will not plant as many Halloween pumpkins! Apparently, growing such beasts was a national pastime last summer. What we really enjoyed were frozen berries (for oatmeal, baked treats, over cereal and ice cream), canned applesauce, cranberry and rhubarb sauces, jams, and pickles of all sorts. So, I will concentrate as much, if not more, on those treats.
The one thing I pledge to do more of this spring and summer, is to take time to slow down and truly enjoy my garden, and to share it with those I care for. This past sixteen months has reminded me in so many ways how precious and brief life is. We really must take time to smell the roses.
Thank you for stopping by. Take good care. Be well, be strong, be kind.