My husband came into the house yesterday evening and made this pronouncement: “We’re ripping everything out of the yard and only planting boysenberries.” I would like to say I was shocked, but I totally understood.
Once you taste a fresh-from-the-vine boysenberry, there is no going back. You will buy the ones in the store, but they never match up to that burst of sun and summer and berry-goodness that is the fresh boysenberry.
Of course, this is true, too of tomatoes and apricots and strawberries and oh, all manner of garden goodness. To this day, I can’t buy an apricot in the store because as a child we had a productive apricot tree. So much so that mom & dad would make apricot jam, stewed apricots (OH YUM!), apricot pie…whatever we didn’t manage to eat (or the birds didn’t get) all got saved, somehow, to make winter brighter with its fresh, fruity flavor. Store apricots just aren’t the same – the juice isn’t as sweet, the flesh tends to be a bit mealy, and over all they are a disappointment.
Tomatoes are one area where I will bite the bullet and buy in the store when I’m not growing my own.
(But come on. I mean, doesn’t that cherry tomato look DELISH?) I have a confession – I make sure I eat the first ripe cherry tomato, every season. That burst of flavor, mingled with the scent of tomato plant on my hands, is, every year, the herald of summer.
I do love the flowers that summer brings, too. Every year for the past few years, I’ll get what I call “volunteer” sunflowers – ones I haven’t planted, but were remnants of seeds from previous summers. I never rip them out before they’ve grown; I like to believe they are the earth’s way of saying “thank you” to me, so the least I can do is help them grow.
These two sunflowers are about twelve feet tall.
And then there’s the artichoke. Once we’ve eaten our fill of artichokes, we tend to ignore the plant for awhile – to our dismay, overnight it seems the artichokes open up too much to be tasty. Then we do our duty to the birds and bees everywhere, and let them flower.
Stunning, isn’t it? How many bees do you see in this photo?
Here’s the whole plant, showing lots of flowering artichokes.
Yeah, spending time in the garden – even when it’s just weeding and watering – always seems to settle my spirit. Taking photos of my garden is just another delight, especially now that I can get photos from my camera and into the blog, lol! But my favorite thing to do in summer? It’s just to sit in the garden around sunset, drinking wine or a Between the Sheets, talking with my husband as he noodles around on the guitar. Pure heaven.
On the writing front, DEMON HUNT is 99% complete – the publisher just needs to finish the formatting, then once more for strictly a format edit and it’ll be good to go. I hope to have ARCs this time around, so I can get some reviews prior to the launch but we shall see.
One last photo – this one was taken at a winery in Paso Robles. It reminds me of a painting by Monet, and I am very proud of it.
The year is rapidly approaching the Summer Solstice. What is your favorite way to enjoy summer?
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Thanks so much for visiting and leaving comments – I love hearing from you! Until next time – and remember to drink responsibly!
Beautiful and yummy!
Love your garden, and your photos.
For me summer is heralded by a trip to NYC. A little shopping, dining in my favorite Italian restaurant, a trip to the Met, maybe a Broadway show. This time I will take my camera, and then I’ll blog and share. ; )
Oh Roben, color me green with envy! I would LOVE to go to NY on a yearly basis – what fun! I would spend a couple days in the Met alone…then Central Park…of course a Broadway show. I’m so ready, but maybe next year!
Once you’ve eaten homegrown or truly farm-fresh produce, the grocery store just can’t compete. My own complaint about food in New Orleans was that the salads tasted like nothing at all. Here in New England, we can have homegrown lettuce and other salad greens most of the year, but I’m sure in Louisiana, lettuce must be a winter crop and the salad greens had come from far away.
I envy your artichokes.
As for my favorite way to enjoy summer: gardening and sitting by the firepit with Jeff, having a tasty adult beverage, both rank high, but a day on the beach must be the favorite.
I love my firepit. If I could have a firepit, a day at the beach would be perfect…wish you were near so I could share the artichokes!
Love the photos and my favorite summer past time is spending time with my family, but then that is my favorite thing to do every season. I will say that tomatoes from the vine where the tomato smell is all over your hands too is an earmark of summer and then there is summer corn from a vegetable stand – YUM!
Ah, yes, that first tomato of the new season. We have a little “first fruits” ceremony, in which we make a special salad for dinner, and present the tomato on its own little plate. Then it is cut up and divided to garnish the top of the salads. Eaten with much gusto. That full flavor (and the tomato plant scent on the fingers) definitely the start of summer. Just in time, too, as the calendar summer is upon us in a few days.
Sarah, how fun is that? I am far to selfish to do that with the cherry tomatoes. Maybe when the bigger ones ripen…
That cherry tomato looks delicious!
There’s nothing better than fresh produce from the garden. Hubby has just planted a heap of seedlings. We’re in winter down here, but the garden is still producing. Love the “Monet” photo. You should be proud of it!
Aw, thanks, Shelley! Yeah, I stumbled on that photo over the weekend – had totally forgotten about it. Tell me, what do you plant in winter down under?
Beautiful garden, Christine!! And I’m raising my hand for when you tire of eating artichokes… we love them here and will gladly take them off your hands! Home grown food is always the best. Love the boysenberries…so pretty!! And the first thing I thought of was Monet, even before I read the text. Great blog!!
Thanks, Charlene! LOL on the artichokes – I’ll keep you in mind for next year!