Garden Update: Midsummer, 2021

Sarina Fehr

The heat wave is over. For a week or more now we have been fighting with hose and sprinkler as if to put out a fire, hoping it will be enough to keep roots from drying and leaves from wilting. At last, with the sounds of thunder approaching, I can rest from the constant battle with the weather.

Front yard garden

It sneaks up on me, every year: one day I am covering seedlings with old sheets, mulling over seeds, agonizing over planting dates and frosts. Then for a few minutes in June I am distracted—why does everything happen in June? And when I turn around again it is July and the garden is in full force all around me.

Lettuce

 

Purple flowers

Last week I harvested more strawberries than I knew what to do with. My mother and I made a pie, far too sweet without rhubarb. I am harvesting lavender buds for tea and crafts, and garlic scapes for cooking. There was more spinach than we could eat, and lettuce by the bagful. With tomato plants reaching waist-height and roses bursting out like fireworks, I suddenly remember why I did this, why it was so important to me:

More purple flowers

I grew a garden because if the rest of the year is going to be cold, then a heat wave is in order. We need the garden in the same way we need our weekends. The garden is summer break itself.

Beautiful flower

Now, between pulling weeds and watering, I can take a moment to pause. I can sit on the step and lean into the heat, and look out at the space I and my family worked to cultivate. There is something good here, a place and a time in which to rest, and this makes me profoundly grateful.

Cat and flower

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