Jun 25, 2005

Fruits and Labors

With the summer solstice past, it's a strange time of year: the days are still warming up and there's light in the sky well past 9:00 pm, yet there's a primal tickle in the back of our brains reminding us that we're now closer to autumn than to spring.

I harvested most of our Santa Rosa plums this week, and even though it was a light crop (apparently this happens in alternate years), the fruit is as amazing as ever: tart, almost bitter, skin, with unbelievably sweet and juicy flesh all the colors of a tropical cocktail. Last year our crop was much heavier, so I was able to put up a few jars of plum jam; this year, the bumper crop is in the blueberries, which — despite being grown just in pots — are almost keeping pace with our appetites for them. (By some miracle, the birds haven't noticed yet... maybe they're still freaked out from the flash tape last year?)

So it's time to kick back in the garden and enjoy this bounty... yet there's still so much to keep us busy. The ErigeronErigeron obviously is in desperate need of a hard shearing; the roses are overdue to be deadheaded; and now that the warm weather seems to be ready to stay a while, it really would be a good idea to add a layer of mulch and adjust the irrigation schedule. I did get the apple tree about halfway thinned out; but I also have about half a dozen plants still stuck in their nursery pots, gasping for water and pretty much convinced they'll never make it into the ground. Unfortunately, they're probably right.

Yes, there's a lot to do, even as the days are getting shorter. In the end, though, it's not so terrible to waste valuable gardening time slurping the juice from a perfect plum. After all, aren't those the pleasures we design gardens for in the first place?

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