Calvin and Hobbes was my favorite cartoon. Among the best strips was one where Calvin and Hobbes were waiting in a tree to drop a balloon full of water on Susie. Hobbes asks, quite reasonably “What if she doesn’t walk by?” Calvin’s answer is “Then we just wait all day.” “I love summer,” Hobbes replies. And Calvin says, “The days are just packed.”
Unlike Calvin and Hobbes, I don’t have the entire summer free. Tonight I sit here exhausted from a day spent trimming bushes and weeding in the flower garden, trying to avoid the hot sun as much as possible. Yesterday afternoon we spent a couple of hours in the vegetable garden planting more lettuce, weeding, picking a quart of our own blueberries, and keeping an eye on the chickens who made a couple of passes through the garden beds.
I am almost ready to announce defeat in the flower garden. So many plants have spread that there is almost no open space. My initial garden plans took into account the heights of flowers—taller in the back, shorter in the front. Thanks to birds (and wind) redistributing seeds, there are tall flowers now scattered everywhere—and all of the plants grow taller every year, as they compete for sunlight. A few plants have been crowded out (I just remembered my Perovskia, or Russian Sage and looked for it. I found it engulfed by taller, stronger plants). I suspect that some of the more robust plants might be weeds, but I am just not sure. If they don’t flower soon I am yanking them out. Aside from that, and perhaps relocating the Perovskia, I may just leave the garden to its own devices, simply watering and weeding as needed.
The vegetable garden is doing well. So far the summer squash plants are healthy and free of the squash borer that plagues them each year. Only one of our pumpkin plants has succumbed. I think we will have zucchini next weekend…it is growing fast. The tomatoes are growing well and lots of tomatoes are coming. This is when we usually see tomato hornworms, so we’re on the lookout. Even the eggplant and peppers, which we haven’t had much luck with, seem to be doing okay in the auxiliary bed.
The baby chicks are growing so rapidly. They flap their little wings, which have been feathering out at what seems to me a faster rate than our chicks last year. I am eager to see what they will look like—a cross between a RI Red and a Cochin. All four have feathered feet. The mother has been getting a bit antsy, and has ventured outside briefly to take a dust bath and eat some grass. The babies, who show no anxiety or fear when their mother is present, become agitated when she is gone—and joyful upon her return.
The bigger projects are still waiting—the chicken coop roof, barn roof, splitting enough wood for the winter. We will try to chip away at these when we can squeeze them in. The days are just packed.