Both temperatures and garden are distinctly taking on summer sizzle. I don’t do well in the heat so I’ve learned to keep my time in the garden to the cooler hours of the morning and evening. I leave the hot midday to mad dogs and Englishmen.
It’s now all about balancing between letting the sounds of birds and insects lull us into a happy state of doing nothing and keeping on top of weeding, tidying and watering. The weeds are the biggest offenders – they seem to come up with an enthusiasm that I wish would rub off on the choice plants that are taking time to spread.
The season to gather with friends has commenced. I firmly believe gardens are created to be shared with others. Have you noticed how everyone instinctively inhales visibly and relaxes in nature? Entertaining outdoors is unfussy and naturally easy. The food is simple and fresh and the garden does its magic at putting everyone at ease.
I’ve had the pleasure of hosting several groups of artists in the garden this month. A garden is a perfect muse – inspires us to paint and stretch ourselves, it relieves us of inhibitions and nudges us into working more freely, exploring, experimenting, learning to see anew. Encouraged by the creative company and commiserating about the challenges of all the greenery, the whole experience is joyous. As both gardener and artist, I absolutely love to see how others view my garden. It’s the same when I see photographs taken by visitors. I learn a great deal and grow as gardener as well as artist. Quite possibly, in sharing the garden, I’m the one who gains the most!
As we head into the long weekend, here’s incentive to get stuff in the garden –
Things To Do In July
1. Weed, weed, weed! Remember, pouring boiling water over bricks and other stonework will kill weeds growing in-between.
2. Deadhead often. Neatness matters.
3. Mulch, fertilize, water.
4. Mow regularly but keep the mower blade high.
5. Watch out for pests and/or disease. Use organic control.
6. Plant out vegetable seedlings for fall harvest.
7. Keep birdbaths filled with fresh, clean water.
8. Order fall bulbs
9. Take time to watch dragonflies by day and fireflies by night.
(c) 2022 Shobha Vanchiswar