My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view.
~H. Fred Dale
I went for a slow walk around the Wabi-Sabi Ranch this morning just to see what’s been happening during my time away. Even during the week I was here with my father, I didn’t get out and about much. He is unable to walk very far. It made me wish we had a golf cart so I could drive him through the woods and out to the dock. M once talked about getting a golf cart for riding up to fetch the mail, but I nixed the idea on the grounds that the half-mile walk is good exercise. Perhaps I should have given it more thought.
The gardens are overgrown with weeds. The scrounger’s garden is the worst because M could not keep up with both the vegetable garden and the scounger’s garden (and all the mowing) on his own while I was away. Honestly, I think it takes more than two people to keep up with everything around here. We are always trying to catch up, something that doesn’t happen until the weather cools off and the growing season ends.
Gardens are a form of autobiography.
~Sydney Eddison, Horticulture magazine, August/September 1993
If I recall correctly (and I might not because my memory seems as exhausted as my body right now), this is the third summer for my scrounger’s garden. It has begun to take on a life of its own, filling itself with beauty and magic. When I went out this morning, I was in awe of the amount of pure life swirling in and around the garden. The zinnias are a mix of wonderful colors standing tall amongst the grasses that grew while I was away. The marigolds are hiding, hints of orange and yellow peering out through the green weeds. The snapdragons are buried in there somewhere, too, along with the lily that hasn’t put out a bloom yet.
The path I designed and worked so hard on has disappeared in the growth of grasses and other weeds. I found a couple of volunteer chile peppers growing near the lavender which might be finished flowering but it is difficult to tell since the lavender plants are also surrounded by grasses and other weeds. I planted chiles during the garden’s first year in hopes of keeping the rabbits away. They have been coming up on their own ever since. They flower, they fruit, and sometimes I pick a few of them, but I have plenty of hot peppers in the vegetable garden so I usually leave them to fall and replant themselves.
The Japanese beetles wreaked havoc on the roses, and on the grapevine that made a comeback this year. The grapevine must have been planted by Mrs. B, one of the former owners. She also planted a fig tree out there and it’s doing really well this year now that we know what it is and M has stopped chopping down the poor thing because he thinks it is a weed.
You would be mistaken — and understandably so since it appears I’ve been complaining about the weeds — if you think I was in the garden looking for all that was wrong. In fact, the weeds may be part of what is right and what is magical. As I spent some time pulling weeds, I was surrounded by butterflies, dragonflies, and hummingbird moths. I was periodically buzzed by hummingbirds who were reminding me that I need to clean and refill their feeders. Sometimes the hummingbirds would stop by a zinnia for a taste of nectar, usually when I didn’t have the camera at hand. There must have been at least a hundred butterflies of all sizes, including swallowtails and monarchs. The monarchs, like the hummingbirds, chose to stop by when the camera was out of reach. I didn’t bother to try counting the dragonflies. This has been a good year for dragonflies. Maybe that’s why we haven’t been plagued with mosquitoes.
Speaking of plagues, the deer fly season must have ended while I was away. Thank goodness! It will be easier to appreciate summer now that they are gone. I had some terrible blistering welts on my hands and wrists before I went on my summer adventure to the Bogs. It took nearly a month for them to heal. I don’t know if deer flies serve any purpose in life. It seems as though they must since Mother Nature appears to have reasons for all of existing life, but I’ll be darned if I can figure out what they’re good for. A quick search and I’ve found that, yes, they do have a reason for being. Toads and frogs, wasps and hornets, spiders, some birds, and dragonflies all eat them.
It has been sunny and breezy and hot today, but not nearly as humid as it was yesterday. Judging by how hard and dry the ground is, we could use some rain. A couple of days of good drizzle would be nice, but unlikely. This time of year it tends to rain hard and fast. Some areas got up to 10 inches of rain in one hour one day while I was away. M said we got about 5 or 6 inches here that day.
The harvest season has begun. Our tomatoes have been growing and ripening like gangbusters. I’ve already made some roasted tomato sauce, and M just finished making a marinara sauce. He found the recipe somewhere while we were away, and tucked it in his suitcase to use when we returned home. It smells wonderful. For lunch today I made a chard pesto to have with some leftovers. Into the food processor went handfuls of ripped Swiss chard leaves, some garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. I pulsed and whirled it, and then threw in some basil just for fun. It was fresh and green and lovely. It was a great way to use up some chard, something we’ve had an abundance of since late winter/early spring. I wonder if that stuff every stops growing and producing?
I think that’s probably enough from me for today. Thank you so much for dropping in and visiting the gardens with me. Let’s head down to the Point for sunset later. It’s at 8:05 PM. I didn’t make it there last night. I was too tired. I did get a glimpse of it from the backyard. Soon we’ll be able to watch from the dock again now that the biting insects are not such a bother.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: The magic of being in the gardens; a lovely breeze keeping it just cool enough to be outside and/or working in the garden; hummingbirds, hummingbird moths, dragonflies, and butterflies; the colors of the flowers back-dropped by the green of the grasses and weeds; a refreshing dip in the pool after working in the garden.