Gardening dreams and August harvest

The view through my kitchen window

Dreams of gardens go drifting through my head at night; I am filled with flowers; enlightened by landscapes; swooning from scent. It is the overload of a day spent photographing lovely gardens for my magazines. My frustration is boundless – how can I teach that callous camera to see with my eyes, to capture the gardener’s meaning and give it back to her – or him – as a reward for the exquisite pleasure they have given me? Their gardens make my own efforts seem so puny, but I am glad that they have this power. The beauty they coax from the earth proves so much that is fine about the human race at a time when there are so many pressures for evil.

In my little garden, the annuals around the pool are laughing in the sunlight. Some are past their prime, but they had such a glorious youth that it is hard to blame them for feeling their job is done. The lobelia are very easily tired, the more so if they don’t get enough water, and addicted as they are to garden center fertilizing habits I have a hard time keeping up with their needs. The petunias are hardier, not minding the odd drought and the geraniums seem happy as long as there is plenty of room for their greedy roots and no competition from any other than their own kind.

Today is a lovely day, warm but not blazing and with gentle breezes that keep the mosquitoes at bay. I wish you could hear the music of the garden. When the wind blows, the wind chimes answer with tiny notes that suit the flowers around them. They have many voices, some low and cool, some higher and more delicately warm. They add variety to the whispers of the leaves and the rustlings of the smaller plants. Every now and then, there is a deeper creaking of a tree trunk, forced to speak by the pressure of the moving air. But the apples hang round and silent on their tree, concentrating on getting ripe.

Tomatoes are ripening on the vine

Tomatoes are also working toward that end. I see one or two turning red, but it has been too hot for their colours to develop. Tomatoes will refuse to ripen when the daytime temperatures are above 30 degrees C and the nighttimes, are above 20 C. The heat and, inversely, the cold below 10 C, interfere with the chemical requirements of the pigments carotene and lycopene that are responsible for the red colour in tomatoes.

Fingerling cucumbers will soon be 8 to10 inches long

 

 

 

 

Last week I picked two luscious cucumbers, about ten inches long each – they are the long, thin English type. Now I see two more showing promise at the top of the trellis. I give them a gallon of water to help them along.

My August garden would never win any prizes. The front yard is a disgrace – it is impossible to keep up with the watering so most of the perennials are simply trying to survive and don’t have the energy to bloom. This year the daylilies disappoint – even the weedy orange ones have not been spectacular. Ithas simply been too warm.

It is still some time before the faithful Clara Curtis chrysanthemum will appear in her pinkish-mauve dress, smelling somewhat unpleasantly of cat pee, but beautiful nonetheless. Still, the white David phlox is just coming into bloom and some blue allium are also showing. It is the annuals, however, that provide the colour now. This year, the vibrant oranges and reds and purples and yellows have added joy to every view.

Claire has gone home to Toronto but Ian’s mom is here from Jersey – I have promised to make them dinner, so I must fly away to the store. Glenn is still recovering (badly) from his second last bout with the chemo treatments. He wanted salmon for dinner and I am hoping he will feel well enough to eat it. Poor darling. He is so stoic about it all, but one more round then we hope it will be over and he can recover.

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8 thoughts on “Gardening dreams and August harvest

  1. Mike says:

    I planted my cucumbers and the mini-pumpkins on a trellis next to each other. At first these vines look similar but as they grow and flower I’ve come to appreciate the delicate flowers of the cucumber. The pumpkin flowers are bodacious, loud, caution-yellow behemoths. The cucumber is so small and delicate by comparison. I hadn’t appreciated this until this Summer.

  2. Pierre Bedard says:

    Tsk, tsk, what’s all this talk of gallons and inches; it should be litres and cm. Love your writing. Makes me think fondly of Winnipeg where I lived for 27 years.

  3. Serge says:

    You’re such a good writer Dorothy and what a beautiful view. Thank you,
    Serge, Ottawa.

  4. Barb says:

    I love reading your blog..I have never had such beautiful flowers as this year…but have been very mindful of fertilizing and watering..as we have a well it is no problem.The most interesting is the family of prairie chickens sometimes 30 and sometimes only 20 odd that march into the yard to feast on the birdseed that has dropped from the feeder..I have never seen them before.It is sad that soon the blooms will give way to fall and hoping that my tomatoes soon begin to ripen…

  5. ancientfoods says:

    I hane nominated you for the inspiring blog award. great blog.http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/the-world-is-full-of-surprises/

  6. Granny says:

    “How can I teach that callous camera to see with my eyes” and “The beauty [gardens] coax from the earth proves so much that is fine about the human race,” I had to read this several times. So much to think about and the conclusion of your article, with a few words about your dear Glenn, made the significance of the life human and nature share all the more intense. Thank you for the seeds you plant with your musings.

  7. […] – as a reward for the exquisite pleasure they have given me?” asks The Gardening Canuck in Gardening dreams and August harvest, a mid-August article filled with […]

  8. […] – as a reward for the exquisite pleasure they have given me?” asks The Gardening Canuck in Gardening dreams and August harvest, a mid-August article filled with […]

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