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When Summer ComesWhen Summer Comes

Snow pea blossoms (dwarf grey sugar) on eve of summer solstice 2010.

Summer solstice,the longest day,reaches it’s apex at 7:28 a.m.,Monday,June 21st. This point in the revolution of our tiny planet around the sun is notable in Zone 4,not only for the luxuriously extended hours of daylight and the way it makes plants leap with growth,but also the way it marks the end of the gardener’s mad rush to get summer crops in the ground. 

With the urgent, time-sensitive tasks completed, I finally took a deep breath, grabbed a glass of effervescent vinho verde in the lingering evening light and wandered the garden barefoot to admire the muscular green of young tomato plants, crunch a juicy sugar snap pea,tune in to the veery’s ethreal song,and wait for the fireflies to wink from the shadows.    

Today I further celebrated the solstice by taking a day off from gardening for a splendid little road trip with Bonnie,a long time friend and fellow gardener. We headed northeast to Cady’s Falls and Perennial Pleasures,two nurseries with very different but lovely and intriguing display gardens that provide ample evidence that even in the Zone 4,plant life comes in an astounding array of colors and textures.   Neither nursery stocked much in the way of food plants,though Perennial Pleasures has a selection of interesting herb plants for sale and serves an exceedingly pleasant afternoon tea in the garden.  Indulging in a day devoted just to gorgeous flowers and foliage seemed a fitting way to mark the season.

Speaking of fitting, nothing expresses the sweet loveliness of a midsummer evening in the north better than this instrumental ballad by Oscar Peterson:When Summer Comes.   A benediction for the end of the longest day.

May your gardens be bountiful and your verdant days filled of joy.

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