The Irises and Peonies are gone for the year, and the raspberries, who just 3 years ago were tiny sticks and now are riotously taking over the yard, are beginning to ripen. It’s hot here. For the last several weeks, with one exception, it’s been a dry, baking heat. We’ve had rain once in nearly a month. In the forecast…maybe Wednesday. Maybe Saturday.
Despite a cold, wet spring, we are headed into drought. It’s not yet classified as drought in Massachusetts, instead deemed ‘Extraordinarily Dry’ but the next step is the first phase of a drought. I’ve never seen it this dry in June.
Because of the heat I water several times a day. As much as possible, I hand water, which, while it is slower going than using the hose, allows for much more water retention right around my plants.
My plants are thriving, even the hungry ones, like my Rouge Vif D’Etampes pumpkin, despite the lack of rain. Squash and zucchini blossoms abound, and it’s just about time for one of my favorite meals, sauteed zucchini noodles and cherry tomatoes in pesto. Topped with a little parmesan and some grilled or pan-fried salmon, it’s summer simplicity at it’s best.
I’ve always said I wouldn’t live anywhere that rain doesn’t fall from the sky. And the world is still lush and green around me, but we never go this long without precipitation, and, for someone who loves to grow things, I spend a lot of time worried, hoping for rain. Every gardener understands the premise of a rain dance, the need to just do something, especially when it comes to something that you have no control over.
The pandemic continues, as do the Black Lives Matters protests, just outside our door and so far away.
In an effort to keep our cooling costs down, blackout curtains went up in the living room yesterday, slightly impeding my Maxfield Parrish-style view, but definitely blocking some of the beating sun. While there is always weeding and planting and tree removal to do here, the next few weeks are focused indoors, painting rooms, moving furniture around, adding and changing the layout of the house for our next big thing, as we prepare to welcome Teddy the Yellow Lab in August, and start the process to get us to adoption of one or two more smaller humans. We had intended to do major renovation next spring to augment our space, but given the pandemic, that will have to wait a year or two. In it’s place is moving rooms around to add beds and options. It’s a good opportunity to declutter as well, and we’re slowly working our way through corners and closets.
But this is a good time to take our eyes off the garden, save for a bit of weeding here and there, because for the next couple of weeks, the garden can be left to do it’s thing, growing away in the heat and light, needing just a bit of fertilizer and care. Our CSA started last week, and this year my neighbor and I are alternating weeks for pickup, so our first arrival comes Friday, with Misfits Market right on top of it the next day, due to a massive lack of planning on my part. Our preserving efforts will have to start right away. And while more recipes are coming, here’s a great place to start, and Eli and my latest addiction in television.