Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Slamming Into Summer

Last Sunday we rode our bikes up the mountain. In turtlenecks and windbreakers for the ride down. My hands were stiff with cold when we got home.

On Wednesday we went up the mountain again and came home drenched in sweat. 

It's official: It's summer. And it happened in about 48 hours. My poor garden is reeling: hydrangeas droop, lovely pale blue flowers tinged with green hang their heads. The dogwood is sad and floppy. Even the dog won't go out. Too hot to swim, 
...too hot to water. But some things are happy - the grapes...
...are tiny as pencil dots, but there are forests of them. Cross your fingers, we may finally have a decent crop.  The vines are flinging their arms all over the place, trying to catch you as you go up the stairs. Huge leaves are crying out to be made into dolmades. I confess I've pulled a few leaves to place under the Red Hawk cheese from Cowgirl Creamery - my current passion. It's fabulous with white wine on the patio before dinner. It's local and hand made, and it tastes a lot like Epoisses.  Smells a lot like it too. But wait until it cools off for cocktails and a stroll around the garden. Where you will find happy poppies...
and roses - 

finally not balling up and falling off in the damp. Just in time for the end of the first big bloom and the weeks-long wait for the re-blooming. Grrrr.

The Sally Holmes look moth-eaten...
...but the White Meidland, shoved in at the edge of the big oak's canopy and given little water and no care are gorgeous.
They looked awful in the front, dropped brown balls instead of opening into sparkling white roses. I put them here because I didn't have the guts to throw them out. I figured they would die on their own and save me the decision, and now they light up the dry shade. Silly me.

The campanula, the unfortunately named campanula poscharskyana, is climbing up the New Zealand flax. When it's over, when it has set seed, I will pull the spent stalks and throw handfuls of them where I want campanula next year. Very obliging plant. When the seed stalks begin to brown and look horrid I will give them a shake (to release as many seeds as possible) and throw them under the oak to compost. 
It's still blazing out there.
But in a few hours the lawn will be in shade, and I will make gin and tonics in mason jars, grab some Red Hawk and our Boules and head for the bottom lawn. 

It's summer. Finally.

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