Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Slowing Down and Enjoying Summer

Even though the long holiday weekend was busy, I still found time to slow down, relax, and appreciate a bit of summer. Most early mornings began outside with coffee, some reading material, and the sounds of nature around me including various birds, a rooster crowing from a distance, a woodpecker’s drumming, the buzz of bees and wasps collecting nectar, and the hum of dragonflies swooping past.

If I stand still, no one can see me.

A chipmunk would play hide and seek with me each morning. Freezing in place as I glanced up from my magazine or book to look at him, then resuming his hopping towards the bird feeder when I looked away. Once at the feeder, he would stuff his cheeks full of sunflower seeds, jump down, and make his way back across the lawn to his den. I swear we have devoted at least a 40-pound bag of sunflower seeds to these little rodents and all they are doing is stashing it away under ground somewhere. At least it keeps them out of the garden.

Squash bed

I mostly enjoyed the lack of sound as the neighborhood continued its slumber. There was no loud music, no yelling, no barking dogs, and no rumble of lawnmowers and other various lawn trimming equipment. It was so peaceful in those early morning hours and I was able to relax, contemplate the tasks ahead, and decide how I would spend my day.

Cucumber Blossom

As the morning progressed, the sun would peek through the trees and eventually rise above the treetops and reach the garden. Once the morning dew evaporated, I would begin to leisurely putter in the garden…weeding, checking for pests, harvesting, trimming, taking photos, and appreciating the signs of ongoing development. Most garden chores were completed before the heat and humidity of the day took hold.

Dark Red Norland Potato Blossom

Over the weekend, all the beds were weeded and given a generous drink of fish emulsion; the tomatoes’ lower branches and leaves were trimmed to allow air to circulate; and the paths in between the beds were mowed. Mother Nature provided a good watering overnight Sunday and by Monday morning the plants showed significant growth.

Roma Tomato

It is back to work today but it is a short workweek. Soon the weekend will be here. Summer is too short to miss out on enjoying the season.


  1. Your squash plants look great, what variety did you plant? I planted a Roma tomato plant last week, and I have one little tomato about the size of yours.

  2. Great post. I love early mornings in the garden and can totally relate to the "lack of sound".

  3. I too love mornings like this, it is what summer is all about!

  4. I love mornings too, but I work in the garden then. I usually head out around 6. Sometimes I work for hours and sometimes I just poke around.

  5. Good for you! I tend to stress too much about the garden. Sometimes it's just nice to sit back and watch things grow.

  6. You captured the moment beautifully. Sometimes I like to just stand in the garden and close my eyes and try to really hear what is going on around me that I tend to overlook. Sometimes if we just slow down like that and really listen... we actually hear our own inner voice speaking with clarity about matters we thought were too complicated. A form of meditation actually but with the added benefit of some sun and fresh air!

  7. What a lovely post! You had me relaxing right along with you. The veggie garden looks great, and don't you love the beautiful potato blossoms?

  8. Kris: I am growing Delicata, Waltham Butternut, Spaghetti, Pie Pumpkin, Yellow Summer, and Zuchini squash this year. In another few weeks they will be a tangle of vines in this corner of the garden.

    Liisa: Ah yes, I am looking forward to a lack of sound again this weekend. In addition to the normal neighborhood noises, we are also experiencing construction noises as they are repaving a road nearby.

    Henbogle: Just relaxing outside is so pleasant.

    Daphne: Sometimes I start working in the garden early. But this weekend was tomato-trimming time and I didn’t want to mess with them until the morning dew was dry. I do my share of poking around early in the morning too. The plants seem so happy in the morning.

    Thomas: I don’t have the critter challenges you do or I would stress as well. I discovered today that a neighbor’s cat used my newly seeded carrot bed as a litter box. Grrrr. However, this same cat keeps our mice, mole, vole, and chipmunk population down. So I must forgive him this time.

    Laura: Thinking about being outside gardening always seems to relax me even when I am away from it. Too bad working gets in the way. LOL!

    Diana: Thanks! It was a nice moment that needed to be acknowledged and appreciated before returning to the normal workweek grind. Yes, potato blooms are very pretty.

  9. Yeah, I don't know how I feel about cat turds in the garden. I guess I wouldn't mind the odd ones either if the mice are kept in fear.

  10. I've started to see cukes forming too. I'm looking forward to harvesting lots and lots of cucumbers so that I can start pickling!