Joy in the Garden

Joy in the Garden

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.

photo of boysenberry bush

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.

photo of cherry tomato(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.

photo of volunteer sunflowers

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.

photo of flowering artichoke

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.

photo of water lilies

All photos in this blog posting were taken by me.

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!