Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cozy Storm

A cold storm is blowing in from the west, with huge grey pink-edged clouds at sunset. More like late September than early June. No rain yet, though we may get snow above 6,000 feet.

I like storms. I think it's from growing up during the seven year drought in California. For me there's nothing better than sitting inside with a hot drink, warm and cozy, watching the lightning, trees swaying in the wind, rain soaking the garden. If I can, I leave a window open. I always sleep better when it's raining. That smell of wet earth and plants, the sounds of water dripping and pattering. Makes me feel all is right with the world.

Of course you don't want wet weather all the time (though California was safe from that!). It's good to have contrasts. The wet days help us appreciate the sunny days all the more, and vice versa. Good points to each of them. And we won't get too many more cold wet days before the Summer heat sets in.

Time to open that window and curl up in the blankets with a mug of mint tea. Happy storm, all.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Almost Here

It seems like the days got really long almost overnight! I think it was cloudy and rainy for so long that we didn't notice. Now all of a sudden the clouds have cleared and the sky stays light until after 10pm. It's shocking to walk outside at 8pm and see the sun still well above the horizon.

We've had a sunny and warm (though not hot) weekend, mid 70s to low 80s. Pretty nice weather actually, though I'm not used to being outside in the sun. It makes me tired and headache-y. Seems like I have to get used to it every summer all over again. Put on sunscreen for the first time this year.

I have four pots planted up now. The fourth one has a yellow-leaved coleus and a purple double-flowered upward-facing aqualegia in the center, surrounded by purple and white torrenia and sweet peas. I'm not sure how the sweet peas will do, it's kind of late in the year for them, but what the heck.

I finally broke down a few weeks ago and bought a new echinachea I've been wishing for - "Green Envy". I've had "Magnus" in the front garden for about five years, and it's done very well, but I haven't had much luck with any of the newer color varieties. So I tried to give this one a good start, with (hopefully) good drainage and enriched soil. We'll see...

I went to the Farmers Market on Saturday morning. Bought a "Mr. Stripey" tomato and some seedlings of tall white scented nicotiana, as well as a small pak choi, some fresh oyster mushrooms, and more WONDERFUL moroccan-spiced lamb sausage from our organic lamb friends. I did a stir-fry with the pak choi and mushrooms, but the sausage is in the freezer waiting for Ken to come home next Saturday.

I finally had six tomato seeds germinate, though the peat pods got mixed up and I'm not sure anymore which is which. That's ok, I planted three different colors. Won't be hard to figure out which is which, eventually. Anyway, I put those into larger pots today, so they can continue to develop roots. They should be ready to go out in the garden in a few weeks. Just as well I bought three more mature plants last month and have those planted out already. We may actually get tomatoes before September that way!

I've got five bush beans, two sugar snap pea plants, and two scarlet runner beans in the ground, along with two Italian peppers. I also planted out swiss chard and corn salad seeds a few weeks ago. The chard came up quickly, and then practically disappeared - the quail found it! So I had to put a net over it. So far that seems to be working. The corn salad seed is a few years old, and only a few tiny bits of green have come up so far.

It's been a great year for salad greens here, with the cool temps and rain. But that should change quickly now.