Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Not Yet Swing of Summer

Mike's favorite rose
My job keeps me very busy, and when it doesn't, I do. When summer comes each year, I start it in high gear. My yard is great for me because there is always something to do, and at the same time, there is nothing to do.  I spend the kind of time I never spend during the year just wandering, sitting and dreaming.  I also spend some of it deadheading, weeding, and projecting.  Fortunately for me (and for Mike) my yard is pretty small, and there is really very little left to colonize.  It forces me away from the working and into the slowing down to smell the flowers, in a way that my mother's acreage never does.

My yard is at its most beautiful right now.  Each bed has at least seven types of perennials blooming. Other than the elm seeds (which I continue to hate) my weeds have slowed down.  I spend quite a bit of time sitting in the sun and admiring, usually accompanied by homemade iced-tea or Leora's strawberry and basil infused water. This summer I feel a strange mix of slowing down and uncertainty.

The picking is still pretty slow. I am currently eating cherry tomatoes, greens, strawberries, rhubarb and herbs. I just finished making a tabbouleh for lunch to use up a couple of cups of parsley. That means I can really enjoy cooking with fresh ingredients, but there is no big press to harvest anything. I have been cooking and picking this morning because we are waiting to hear from the vet.

When Mike and I travel with the girls in the summer, it is usually at this time because the harvest hasn't started.  We were scheduled to leave to visit my youngest sister and a her family and our cat became very sick, so we have been waiting.  Test results were due in today, but when we called the vet, they didn't have them yet.  If the results were were pills, or a delayed surgery we'd get to leave tomorrow and I would spend the day packing very quickly.  If not, I would be very sad both for the cat and seeing my family, but I would be in the yard and home in a time I am rarely here.

Instead, I am waiting.  Did I mention that waiting is not really a good state for me?

Rain barrel distribution system
The vet has kindly agreed to call the lab and see if she can rush things for us. Lyla has been vomiting less, and we are no longer giving her all the medication, which is positive.  However, there is just nothing I can do.  I read in the yard for a while, then I cooked, then I weeded and now I am still waiting.

I am no yet in the swing of summer but I really want to be. Perhaps a project is the ticket.

A number of years ago our friend Brad recommended we put in a drip watering system for our square foot beds.  It was a good idea as we always spend a lot of time carrying buckets, but I really wanted to use the rain barrels.  This week Mike has developed a drip system that attaches to our front barrel and it works really well. The hot bed on the south side of the house stays lightly damp all the time and the plants are supper happy.

 Maybe if I go sit with them for a bit, I can get in the swing of things. Check out Mike's pics of the set up (and the great cover he sewed to keep the cabbage moths off of my square-foot bed in the driveway). Both projects were very satisfying in their own ways.

Straw to protect the strawberries
In case you are interested, some other projects of the last few days include mulching, dealing with aphids in the greenhouse, and transplanting.  They were all great distractors in the swing of summer until this day of purgatory.

I really am going out the yard now.

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