Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Morning

Are there two lovelier words?

I wake up reveling in the need for a light blanket as well as the fresh cotton sheet over me since our weather cooled a bit.

The windows are all opened wide. All the better to hear the cooing of the mourning doves and the busy twittering of myriad sparrows as I lazily watch the sun rise over the Virginia Range and illuminate the valley.

Outside my window the white birches cast dappled shadows on the porch roof and I know that when I step outside, the lawn (finally a lush green) will be damp and cool on my toes. It's Trash Day and I need to ensure the dog gifts deposited the night before make their fragrant way into the garbage. It's (almost) a privilege to wheel our cans past stripey daylilies, a third crop of golden raspberries and the sprawling strawberry plants to park them near the apricot roses blooming profligately near the curb.

The last handful of Black Tartarians from our cherry tree are waiting in the fridge to kick off breakfast. But first a brisk walk with my usual companion to exercise our glutes and our jawbones. We never run out of items to discuss be it our grown children or what's for lunch although we hike day after day, month after month, year after year.

Our walk produces baby quail sightings. Seemingly every quail in Reno has hatched their clutch within twenty-four hours of one another. None is bigger than an apricot which is appropriate since we also wander past a fruit tree that's ripened since we last strolled by. The windfall apricots provide the best surprise yet with their intense sweet flavor. Possibly the best apricots I've eaten in years, but then this year is producing a bumper fruit crop due to either the mild winter or a spring without severe frosts.

The tiger lilies, which love the heat, started blooming a week earlier than usual and I'm collecting bulblets to share with a few neighbors who also love to garden. Tiger lilies are my "Dad" flower. He collected the plants growing wild in the mountains of Tehama county and our family has grown them ever since. They grow as well in the New Mexican monsoons as the high desert or along the California coast or even the cool Pacific Northwest summers.  I see that the hummers are out early for their morning nectar.  They love the tiger lilies.

Comtesse de Bouchard in her sunny spot on the back fence is responding to the necessary severe pruning with a bounty of pale lilac flowers. 
I'm grateful since Nelly Moser had fewer than usual due to a much-needed thinning.  I think that clematis is most reponsive to proper pruning of any plant I have.

I'm happy to see the newest dianthus are settling in well and continuing to bloom.  The waterlilies have new flowers that will open later in the noontime sun.  Three goldfish play hide-and-seek under the lilypads.  I miss the sound of the waterfall--the pond pump needs some troubleshooting that I've been putting off.

I decide I like the bush beans planted amid petunias.  The pumpkin plants are just now beginning to sprawl and I make a mental note to channel the vines in front of the beebalm and mini-roses.  The snap peas are appearing as quickly as I can eat them on my nightly salad.  I consider using the rampant purslane in salad too instead of just tossing them in the compost heap and wish my Heavenly Blue morning glories were as aggressive as their bindweed cousins that are twining through the Scentimental rose. It's a pity that some chicken escapees scratched in my newly-planted veggie bed.  All the pole beans now need to be replanted. 

A monarch butterfly, the first of the year, is floating through the gloriosa dailies looking for a place to settle.  I wonder if, just maybe, a female might lay eggs on the milkweek plants I keep around specifically for the butterflies.  Little striped caterpillars and gold-dotted chrysalises would make my year.

I'm not sure that there's anything better than the start of a day in mid-July.

Wishing you a lovely morning, many flowers and not too many chores in your yard.



  1. Very nicely described. I love summer mornings, too - they always seem so fresh.

  2. What a glorious garden you have! White birch and baby quail, and what a cool story about the Tiger lilies--love it all! Have a delightful rest of your week.

  3. Its still the prettiest pond ever! I love the smooth stone surrounding it.

  4. that was lovely, it must be pure joy to wake up to such a lovely morning!

  5. What a beautiful post!

  6. You almost make me want to garden. With the grandparents and mother I have, it should be a sure thing. But I lack the passion. Good thing you write so beautifully so that I can just enjoy your yard ;)

    1. I'm happy to do the work (it's play for me!) so enjoy away, Aubrey!