The Milkweed Diaries

Thursday, June 24, 2010

So long, Spring, we hardly knew you

An unusually cold winter followed by an unseasonably hot spring has made for a strange start to the warm-weather gardening season.

Temperatures have been holding steady in the high-80s to low-90s for a couple of weeks now, and there is no end in sight--very unusual for western North Carolina. We're all a bit peaked and many plants that usually bloom all summer (foxglove, valerian) are fried.

Summer Solstice was on Monday, and yesterday I took most of the spring peas off of their trellises (one of many wheelbarrow-fulls pictured above) to allow the cucumbers to bust a move. It felt like a fitting garden transition for Solstice time.

It's summer for sure now. Squash. Cucumbers. Green tomatoes and peppers on the vine. Wilting, bitter lettuce. Browning peas. Blown-out arugula and mustard all gone to seed.

I'm learning how not to hang on too tightly to the things in the garden that have slowed their production or passed their peak. It's such a straightforward lesson from the garden, one that lends itself so easily to allegory: the things we can't let go of start to taste bitter and feel tough in our mouths. Time to sweep out the old and allow room for what's next. In this case: cucumbers.


home on Earth said...

How true about letting go of what is done, especially hard when what is coming is still small and hard with prickles on it. Just got to believe in the juicy flesh that's in there developing! Thanks for this Beth. I just got back from my work stint in the local CSA (we get half off our share) I was weeding cukes and got some good pokes from those spines. We felt an earthquake here in Vermont yesterday (a real one!) first time in a great many years. Woo boy, the Earth is shakin'. Missing you both. lots of love to you, Ruby

Dana said...

Beth, thank you once again for sharing y'all's farm with me the other evening. I am busy over here daydreaming about that figgy brie and the hibiscus mead. You really know how to feed a gal. Your place looks great and I'm excited that you have the youngsters to help! Can you take a close up picture of those roses? I think I have narrowed down the ID process, but seeing it again would help.
Stay cool and come over to swim iffin you need a breaky poo. Love, D