Tag Archives: solstice

Peak light

While it is the start to “official” summer, with the continuation of mainly dry, warm weather since February, it feels like we’ve been into summer for almost 2 months, and now it should be mid-summer.  I am smiling as I think about June 21, 2011, when most of us were either staying indoors, or braving wet weather as a cold front moved in for a few days.  Opposite spectrum.  With the forecast of another heat-wave presenting itself a few days after the solstice, it is going to be interesting to witness how the regions’ plants endure a long summer “drought”.

While we have had the occasional hot days without an evening westerly breezed to cool us off, the more typical afternoon winds have been coming around daily this last week, making for frequent watering needs everywhere in the garden.  It is hard to keep everybody hydrated very long!

Cherries are at prime right now, rather than closer to July 4th, strawberry season long gone, and blueberries coming on 2 to 3 weeks early!  Since early May, the local forests have given off their fir- and cedar- aromas normally detected only in later summer.

The CG is holding up in a more typical manner.  Squash and melons just take their time finally kicking in and growing, and they love the warmer weather.  Radishes and arugula have decided it’s time to bolt and flower, and beans are growing magnificently.  Earlier than anticipated, there are some green roma tomatoes, just found this morning while watering.  Maybe it will be the earliest tomato season I’ve witnessed!  And there are even some chile peppers.  The local four-legged browsers are leaving evidence of lurking nearby, munching on succulent apple leaf, and dogwood tips, but have not breached the deer fence.

The fence is restretched and reinforced with another layer of netting in one area, while I contemplate a different method of using “smoke and mirrors” to visually fool the browsers as to the actual height of the fence.

Exponential growth kicking in!  Summer Solstice greetings!

Exponential growth kicking in! Summer Solstice greetings!

The longest days of the year in the northern hemisphere are here, providing exqusite summer evenings, and there is potent light energy coming through right now.  Enjoy summer in your yard or out in a local park or forest, or in any way you are able, that lifts your spirits!



We love this weather!” exclaim the tomatoes, squash, melons, corn, and beans.  “About time!”
Oh, don’t forget the baby basil, starting to plump out their true leaves.

Oooowee! Tomatoes enjoying freedom from their red jackets, and lots of things rejoicing in warmth.

Do we gardeners get bonus points for our patience?

Yes, finally we have been graced with several days of real summer weather, so that the logarithmic growth rate is very visible.  Rumor has it that consistently warm days will not be with us until late July or August, and we’ll be bouncing around with cooler weather again, possibly this coming week.  But, it finally feels like we’re in the real month of June, albeit near the end.

With the longest days of the summer solstice at hand, as if on cue, the spinach has bolted, as well as a couple of beets and some lettuce.  Time for a big greens harvest.

Great hidey-holes in the towering sugar peas; Juniper is out, where's Aspen?

Although we’re not tracking the pounds of bounty going to the food bank, per se, I think it would be fairly realistic to say that at least 75% of June’s bounty is going to help others.  At least 7 pounds of greens were harvested this morning, headed directly to a food bank.

Over 7 pounds of luscious greens headed for a food bank

Prediction: no knee-high corn by July 4th; maybe shin-high.  Will report!

Frosty garden limbo

Freezing fog has kept the area chilly, with few sun breaks, sometimes only an hour before dusk.  Still, it is easier maneuvering through the garden than in pouring rain.  It appears the kale survived the earlier arctic wave without protection…hooray!  Not that it is actually doing anything except sitting in limbo.  The soil temperature (at 3-inch depth) is still hovering between 38 and 40°.  Brrrr…

Christmas has brought us a lovely break in this monotony, with the sun breaking through by mid-morning; nippy day, with only 7 degrees difference between the high and low temperatures, but the radiance was welcomed by many.

A circus of birds paraded through the yard at times: a swarm of bushtits, a couple of goldfinches, chickadees, and yellow-rumped warblers, plus the usual raucous starlings.  The two resident hummingbirds were squeaking away merrily, zipping in to feed when the other wasn’t looking.

A new gift “for the garden” is a heat mat for growing seedlings.  It will fit perfectly in my kitchen garden window.  Now I can grow some chanterai (mini-canteloupes) and margarita melons.  Now to redesign the bed…..

Solstice greetings! It's sleepy time for the garden. Where's Juniper?