Before the 110 degree heat, before the choking smoke, before the fires that are devouring people's lives, I had a cutting garden full of lovely things.
Okay, some were not so lovely any more. But they were loved. And it's a cutting garden. so it doesn't have to look good. At least not all the time. And yes those are onions and yes I cut them.
I would go down in the mornings with a cup of tea and a big basket, and cut until the basket was overflowing. I'm sure when I clean up the garden in late fall I'll find a forgotten teacup or six. Gardening is filled with happy surprises.
Some David Austin roses, hopeless as cut flowers but so graceful and fragrant. A long sprig of duck foot ivy. An intensely blue bush clematis. The raw material.
Hot pink hollyhocks have reseeded everywhere. For the first few years I harvested seed and coaxed it along. Now? I throw the spent stalks where I want hollyhocks and dig out the extras.
This year I got a whole crop of weird looking pointy purple and green tomatoes I didn't plant. And a huge crop of potatoes in the flower bed above the pool, growing happily under that hot pink holly hock. Surprisingly pretty foliage, and not bad as a cut flower. Weird fact: the flowers tell you what color the potatoes are. White flowers for white, pink for red and lavender for blue.
Next year: Daisies invading the dahlias? Masses of sweet peas? I can dream. Sweet peas are not especially happy with me, and the birds love to pull them up, but I did have one pale pink sweet pea volunteer in the gravel and flower away. It set seed. I am hoping for great things.
There will be sheets of low blue forget-me-nots in spring, and hellebores volunteering between the stone steps. I'm tossing out handfuls of nigella and poppy seeds and hoping they will be happy.
I know I'm lucky my garden is only smoky, so many have lost everything. I'm hoping some day the fires will stop. And I am grateful for all the things that grow.