Both summer and the holidays always seem to be the busiest times for me. This summer has been no exception. We have FINALLY come into the hot muggy days of summer. Yes, you read that right. I love these days. While most people are groaning about the heat and seeking shelter in air conditioned rooms, I embrace these long hot, dog days of summer.
Let me explain…
Here in New Hampshire, as the summer solstice comes along, our hours of daylight extend greatly. Birds are singing by three in the morning and the sky in the west still has a streak of light to it after nine at night. It is daylight when I leave for work and it is still daylight when I get home. It is still daylight after dinner when I can sit on the front steps, warmed old chunks of granite that originally came from the old 1850’s foundation, and enjoy the light evening breeze and the chatter of birds and crickets.
Summers are peaceful and warm and bright…and short.
Here in New Hampshire, our growing season is not very long. So as soon as the threat of frost was past (sometime in mid-May) we planted several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers and squash. This is the first attempt at a garden in this new house and we are thrilled with how well it’s doing. We had one flower on our zucchini plant that was at least nine inches across. We’ve already had a few beans and the cherry tomatoes are small and green, but plentiful. We are already discussing what we want to add next year, including attempting sweet corn.
We are still excited about heading to the farmers market on Saturday’s. They have so many other interesting fresh veggies to try and my boyfriend just loves to experiment with recipes. We have had some wonderful dishes, though I have to admit his experiment with pea shoots did not turn out as expected.
Summer is also a time for other types of gardening. My perennial gardens are looking awesome and I have already determined certain areas that need to be changed; too much purple here, not enough pink there. I am also going to build a small herb garden in the backyard. It will be about six feet round and I’m hoping in our flea marketing and antiquing adventures I’ll come across a nice sundial to put in the center. The annual herbs might stay in pots so I can bring them in for the winter, but the rest will remain outside and I will snip them in the late summer and dry them for the winter.
But wait! There’s more…
Inside, we are doing more remodeling and the den floor is finally complete. Now we move to the living room floor and finally to the walls and ceiling of the master bedroom. The transformations are amazing. I think that’s what drew me to this old, outdated farmhouse in the first place; the ability to transform it into the beautiful space I knew it could be.
Last night I walked out to the edge of our property marked by the old stonewall that separates our yard from our neighbors. The sun was setting, the birds were silently singing their evening lullabies and the crickets were chiming in with their own versions. It was so peaceful and pleasant…and still hot!
Summer brings to me such fond memories when I was a child playing outside until we were too tired to play anymore. Then coming in to eat, take a bath and sit by my bedroom window listening to those same bird songs. They haven’t changed in forty years. Why is that?
No matter, I still enjoy them and the warm sunshine that brings them to my little state of New Hampshire. That and all the wonderful fresh food I will get to enjoy in the coming months.