Feb 14
2013

About Last Summer

I’m sit­ting here with seed and plant cat­a­logs scat­tered around—Plant Delights, Botan­i­cal Inter­estsBaker Creek, Cook’s Gar­den, John Scheep­ers…My Lee Val­ley 10-Year Gar­den Jour­nal is open to Feb­ru­ary. My Excel spread sheet plant inven­tory is open on my com­puter screen. The col­lec­tion I affec­tion­ately refer to as my Seed Vault is on the floor under my desk, threat­en­ing to over­flow into Seed Vault Two.

I’m bun­dled in a bulky sweater, fin­ger­less gloves and my warmest Ugg shoes. I hardly remem­ber what sum­mer looked like last year.

Potager in June

Potager in June

I know it was green. I’m pretty sure it was green. I remem­ber pick­ing toma­toes, cucum­bers, tiny mar des bois straw­ber­ries, Bright Lights Swiss chard. My hus­band and I spent many evenings under the stars fin­ish­ing din­ner and drink­ing wine, lis­ten­ing to the crick­ets and watch­ing the bats dart across the night sky. I can remem­ber the smell of freshly mown grass and basil pinched between my fingernails.

Gosh, my feet are cold. I should to make some hot tea.

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Zebra Swal­low­tail Butterfly

Oh yes, we had lots of but­ter­flies last year. Mon­archs, zebra swal­low­tails, east­ern tiger swal­low­tails, red admi­rals. I didn’t know the name of some of the but­ter­flies and moths but loved them just the same. I remem­ber won­der­ing why the mon­archs seemed so skit­tish and the east­ern tiger swal­low­tails would almost let me touch them.

celeste fig tree

Celeste figs

Oh, that’s right. All those celeste figs! So many I hardly knew what to do with them all. I stood next to the tree and popped them right into my mouth.

Maybe another pair of socks would help warm my feet.

hummingbird

Oh, the birds! That’s right. Our hum­ming­bird feeder had a lot of busi­ness last summer.

I should bun­dle up and go top off the bird feed­ers now. That bird­bath could use some hot water to melt the ice too.

Lemon grass in the foreground

Lemon grass in the foreground

So much lemon grass! I remem­ber I was glad I only planted one since it nearly crowded out the cone flowers.

And the aspara­gus was fill­ing in nicely. I think we can pick some more this year.

Asparagus berries

Aspara­gus berries

Ah yes. There was color too. Pur­ples and blues and oranges and yellows.

20120805-184921.jpg

It’s awfully cold in here. Maybe I should just turn up the heat for a lit­tle while.

Oh, that’s right. It’ll be bet­ter soon.

(Click on the pho­tos to embiggen.)

 

Robin

Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, will be released later in 2014 from Taunton Press.

Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.

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