June has swept me up in her hot parade and I have so enjoyed the celebration I can hardly believe we are near its end. My second eldest has graduated from high school, and the party that goes with that has long since passed. The garden is marching along happily, though the week and a half I neglected it to prepare for the aforementioned graduation party has certainly left me with lots of work to do now. Solstice has pulled all the Summer flowers into blooming, and they are so different from the flowers of Spring. Bold, big, and warm-colored are the daylilies, the butterfly weed, the bee balm, and the elecampane. Forgive me for not having photographs. I’ve been too busy to take pictures.
Yesterday I worked in the hot Sun weeding my long row of onions. By the time I was moving along to mulching them a big cloud strode along and offered me some shade, for which I was most appreciative. Then I gave the onions a nice long drink. Last year’s onions didn’t really bulk up, so I need to stay on top of the watering this year. I am looking forward to thick, juicy onions to stash away in my pantry. I’ve also planted a row of green onions, which should overwinter nicely, unless we eat them all up this Autumn.
I’m still playing catch-up on my garden list. I need to fill in the trenches of my potatoes, and also giving them a good watering. I know July is just around the corner, but I’m going to put some zucchini seeds in the ground and have some by late Summer to devour and to freeze and to pickle. I’m also going to plant a whole row of basil to put pesto away for the Winter. There is simply nothing so uniquely delicious in all the world as basil (though I am also quite fond of cilantro), and I’ve got a good set of plants already. Just not enough to put a bunch away for the Winter.
And yes, that is what I’m thinking about. Putting lots of food up for the cold. If nothing else, the garden has taught me about two things: consistency and timing. For a garden to be successful, you must give it consistent attention. Daily attention. I have two gardens–a row garden and a garden of vegetable beds and perennial herbs and flowers. That’s a lot of attention for one scatter-brained woman. It’s exactly what I need to teach me how to be grounded and focused. As for the timing, well, you really do have to think ahead, plan, and basically be on top of things. I rather infamous for having none of those skills. So you see, the garden is just the teacher I need. Since I have two gardens, I guess I needed two teachers. Some of us need more help than others.
And of course, the garden has taught me so much more. This Spring I did not get any spinach in the garden, or other such greens, but The Lady of the Garden knew my need and filled the garden with lamb’s quarters. Many a meal have we had of this wild and delicious green, and yesterday I harvested armloads. Tonight I will lightly sautee’ them and then stash them away in little freezer bags. Come the cold I will be making stews of potatoes and lamb’s quarters and sausage, and marveling again at the wild abundance of Nature, which is perhaps the greatest lesson of all.