I’m pretty freaked because it’s hard to grow plants when it’s dry and hot. Some of my newish gardeners have had to replant crops a few times when the first batch didn't germinate or quickly died. We prioritize our vegetables and fruit over the flowers. Other than the early daisies, phlox and bee balm, none of our flowers (including our giant sunflowers) are more than hip high and most are shorter than that. Our berries have suffered as well. They are smaller and scraggier than normal. They plumped up a bit after the half inch of rain that we received last week and I expect that our few remaining red berries will now plump up nicely as they ripen in the next few days. Our cherries were not affected much, but our peaches have appeared pretty small. (I’m hoping that they will plump up now as they ripen over the upcoming month). I’ve included a picture of the cherries on our new Meteor cherry tree. We also had a lot of cherries on our Montmorency Cherry trees, which ripened a week earlier. Sadly, I've had to spend so much time watering this June that I haven't had a lot of time to pick berries and many of them have gone to waste.
June has not been an entire loss. I have made way too much strawberry jam (and I don’t even usually eat bread). I found lots of interesting recipes and bought lots of cute jam jars this year. I made a batch with balsamic vinegar, a batch with thyme, a batch with tequila, lime juice and triple sec, and a batch with lemon peel (i.e., a strawberry-lemon marmalade). Yumsters. These will make it into gift baskets in December.
Another piece of good news this month has been that the The Woda Group informed the Franklin Park Civic Association that the tax credits needed to proceed with the proposed Fairwood Commons a block east of the Garden have been approved by the state. We are delighted that it looks like we will have a wonderful new neighbor that will likely to lead to other improvements in the neighborhood and provide necessary housing for our older residents.
Well, I’m hoping that both of our tanks are full and am grateful that I won’t have to water anything for the next week. Of course, all of this rain means that the weeds (which have mostly suffered, too) will be growing with a vengeance. This weekend, I will hopefully finish planting in the food pantry plots and putting in the rest of our donated flowers. Then, it will be back to focusing on capital improvement projects. We received a beautiful trellis through a donation to GCGC and need help installing it. We may even replace our front gate with it. Then, we will plant some grapes to grow up its sides. We also have had a groundhog spotted in the Garden and will need to take steps to deter it from returning. . . . . . . There’s always something. If only I could communicate with it so that it could dig our four post holes where we need them for the trellis. . . Where’s Dr. Doolittle when you need him?