When I was a young boy I remember the long lazy days of summer. Every day was a new adventure and it seemed like I had forever and was never in much of a hurry. I think back to those days some times and think how short a time ago that was and then remember we are talking about 40 plus years. That is how quickly time can get away from you. There have been many more summers that have passed since then and some were really good and others not so good. One thing each one shared was the summer garden.
The summer garden is the liveliest time of the year in any garden. The birds, butterflies, assorted insects and critters of all types are all taking up residence in your garden. Some are welcome visitors others not so much. It is a wonderful confabulation of nature all set in your back yard. As a young boy I was more into checking out the bugs, toads, and snakes, but as I reached my teen years that is when I got interested in how things grow and why some things wouldn’t. This was the true beginning of my horticultural career. I thought it was greatest thing ever when I saw my grandmother take a leaf from an African Violet plant stick it in the soil and a couple of months latter the was a whole new plant.
Growing up in Miami I was fortunate because there where fruit trees everywhere and you could enjoy papaya, coconut, mango, orange, grapefruit, avocados, and a host of other fruit from right out of the backyard. It was great living in South Florida. As I got older and moved north I became acquainted with a whole new gardening experience. The four seasons we had them in Florida too but mostly one would pass to another with hardly a change from one to the next.
We are now headed into the winter season here not my favorite but one that I have grown to appreciate with time. I realize the importance of a rest period while nature takes a break and rebuilds for a new year ahead. I think I need a break too. Winter gives me time to set plans for next years garden and reflect upon this past years. It is a time that things are not as hectic with chores to be done and weeds springing up overnight, it is a catch up time. I have time to research new plants, to read garden blogs that I have not been able to get do during the busy growing season, and to contemplate this coming years summer garden.
One thing has not changed for me though and that is I do love all the critters in the summer garden while I am not checking out the the bugs, toads, and snakes I love the birds,and other garden inhabitants. I know squirrels are the bane of a lot of people and so are rabbits but I long ago stopped fighting them and just grow a little extra each year to share with them. I really feel the entertainment of all their antics are worth what little they take in return.
One thing that has changed though is as a youth I would love to lie on the cool green grass under a shady tree and just enjoy the peace in quiet. Now a days I prefer a hammock it is a lot more comfortable on the old bones and a heck of a lot easier to get up. The things that I have learned and enjoyed in each years summer garden are way to many to count but I do think that I shall learn some new things again this year I always do!