The First Day of Summer

Happy first day of summer, everyone!  Today is the longest day of the year.  Glorious sunlight will stream in on us, plants will be happy, shorts and flip-flops will be dusted off, glaringly pale legs will see the light of day for quite possibly the first time all year.  Break open the watermelon, catch some fire files, run through the sprinklers and mix up some lemonade – summer is her to stay (at least for the next 3 months).

As a farewell to spring, we had a housewarming party last weekend, and the house is now officially warmed.  We have 15 bottles of wine left over to prove it (all of which came to us as gifts).  People spent a lot of time with their mouths open at the unusually large sized backyard for Los Angeles, and had plenty of suggestions for what to do with it.  Presently, as I’ve mentioned in previous blog entries, there is an overarching theme of ‘dirt’ in the back yard.  With the exception of the young herb garden that I planted last month, the yard is managing in a “survival of the fittest” way.   Now that the house remodel is completed, it is time to start planning the yard.

In order to time this out right. We would like to plant in fall so the new garden can overwinter and develop strong roots so it can take off in spring next year with a healthy start.  We have several friends who are landscape designers, and we’ve meet several other designers who specialize in sustainable gardens.  Over the next few months, we hope to lay out the design, choose plants, decide on irrigation and dream big.  I’ll be keeping you up to date, hopefully with pictures and details about the yard renovation project.  This is all very exciting.  Let the fun begin!

In other news, my husband and I will be taking off in July for Dublin, Ireland.  After a 9 day singing tour of Ireland with his choir, we will extend our stay and head south to Provence, France for a little down time.  I am hoping to share photos and experiences from our travels when we return (if I can figure out how to do it).

Having seen the gardens of Great Britain, I have since been curious to know how gardeners in other countries express themselves during spring and summer.  I am looking forward to finding lush green spaces tucked away in little Irish towns all over the countryside.   We will be too late to see the vibrant fields of lavender in Provence (most lavender is harvested in May and June), but we may have some luck if we keep our fingers crossed.

While we’ll be gone, there will be a lull in the Tip of the Week listings, but fear not fellow Gardenerds.  I have a recent article that will be published online soon that will keep you busy for a little while at least.   It’s the first in a series on Heirloom Vegetables.  I look forward to sharing it with you soon.  In the meanwhile, I would love to hear from you – what are your favorite summer traditions out in the garden?  Share them here with us.

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