New starts

I started a new job last week after almost two months sabbatical. I’m grateful for the time off and honored for the opportunity before me.

Last Monday, my last untethered day, I visited a local nursery I’ve meant to visit for ages.

And saw some fascinating and strange plants.

With fun names like Elephant’s Foot.

And as the week passed, I haven’t made as many trips to the plot. The tomatoes were patient for me.

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An untended matter still matters.

I struggle to get over there like I mean to.

But I have to change my shoes… and remember what to bring… and convince myself to put on “somscream.”

Then a trip across the state (don’t laugh, it’s a big state) and it’s been ages.

The squash didn’t mind.

I keep telling myself to refresh my tomato pruning knowledge and actually prune them this year. (I likely won’t.)

Just like I ignored the row spacing instructions suggestions for the cowpeas.

Again, the weeds grew just as, if not more voraciously. I am not accustomed to this. It makes me miss my carefully-crafted, cautiously-curated, mostly weed-free gardens of yore.

Yet I remind myself to be grateful for the bountiful fruitful glorious loam that is this soil. The decades of organic gardening, tending, and watering – even if the Bermuda and torpedo and other such abhorrent invaders have yet to be kept at bay.

Anyone know the name of this invader?

Sun in the sun.

I’ve missed time outside. Missed may be too gentle of a word. Craved? Yearned? Viscerally required..

With the more potent creatures of energy in this house discovering, pounding upon, and vocally barraging any boundary set before them… bedtime has fallen.

And with it, any hope at a regular visit to the garden in the evenings. Even with the garden a mere fifteen feet from the back door, it may seem miles these days.

Such that a large Black Prince splits one day and mildews in its splits the next.

I have my seeds for the next solstice now at least.

The okra is coming in slowly. Curious. Not enough at once for even a side dish. Perhaps the ten or so plants will gain momentum and I’ll rue this day soon enough.

A melon has appeared in the green beans. Did I plant that? This year? Or was it last?

The zinnias are, finally, holding true to promises of summer blooms. I hope the fun pops of pink and orange will continue as the heat climbs higher. The nasturtiums are hanging on, the troopers.

The corn lost the battle with gravity after the second flattening. The storm two weeks back took out the corn, half the tomatoes, and both windshields on my car (via tree.)

I should really remove it but have to move the beautifully composted compost out of the cooked pile first and… time in the garden is left wanting.

So happy solstice, y’all. From one still sunlit corner of the world, brightened ever more my a smaller sun mimic, to yours. May the ride down the backside of this year’s coaster be joyful, healthful, and grateful.