We took the summer off from the gardens. There was that chilling week back in April when my son crashed his motorcycle on a Thursday and my father had a seizure on Friday. That was the beginning of the end of this year's gardening. Rushing back and forth between two local hospitals left little time for anything as leisurely as planting the peas. And to be honest, the gardens were the last thing on my mind after my dad was moved into a nursing facility and my son was recovering from surgery.
The spring and early summer became a delicate balancing act of what to leave out and what to leave in. The cannas and castor beans were just the beginning of the casualties. I managed to plant the window boxes and weed and mulch the herb garden, but the vegetable garden became last year's memory. I don't miss dragging the hoses or applying the loathsome 'Invisible Fence' after each rain. I don't miss being eaten alive by ravenous mosquitos and I truly did not miss the advent of the shad fly in May! This is the first year that I can ever remember not having to hide the half moon circles of grim that pass for my nails! And what a joy to be able to knit lace without snagging that delicate fiber on my sunburnt and roughened garden paws.
Still, I miss the blush of tomatoes ripening in the July sun. I miss the fragrance of the basil when I brush against it on my way to the pole beans. The house seems undressed without the gumdrop colored zinnias that graced every tabletop and waded in jars on the bathroom sink. In the evenings the ghostly glow of the white pumpkins and regal nicotiana are replaced by crickets singing in the dark weeds. So I leave you with some pictures of last year's bounty and the hope that next year brings with it a new garden. From my mouth to God's ears.