Summer in the Pacific Northwest is truly a treat. And it’s finally here! I recently heard on a local radio station that because of our geography, we don’t get truly summery, warm, and sunny weather until after the Fourth of July. And if that’s the case, we’re right on schedule with berry season upon us. One of my favorites.
Local growers have produce stands set up here and there, at the edge of parking lots and by the roadside. And our myriad farmers’ markets are in full swing. Here’s a flat of mixed berries and Rainier cherries we’re currently munching on. Most of the strawberries are being eaten plain, but I grabbed some of them and concocted strawberry lemonade that I haven’t made in years. Sweet and tart!
My floribunda rose bush is finally in full bloom, and its fragrance is heavenly. Because of the wildlife who regularly traverse my yard and the abundance of creatures like slugs, I’m not much of a gardener. After years of gardening fails, I’ve learned what grows well, requires minimal care, and won’t be eaten by Mother Nature’s critters. And most of what I plant goes in pots like whiskey barrels.
Heather does well here, and so does lavender. My rosemary plant did well for the past few years, but I think one of our ultra-cold spells last winter was too much. This spring I noticed instead of the lush green, all the leaves died and indeed I thought the entire plant was dead. Much to my pleasant surprise, there is new growth! (As I’m writing this post I just went outside and chopped all the dead branches off!)
The pots of mint, oregano, and sages are still doing well, and oregano seeds that dropped down onto the gravel have been sprouting up for the past few years, making our gravel walkway fragrant. I love walking on the oregano smelling its pungent fragrance.
During the summer I love using fresh mint in a tabouli salad and to flavor iced tea.
Our yard is home to an assortment of wild critters including daily visitors of cottontail rabbits and deer. And the other day I saw a young buck, a welcome addition to the usual doe and fawns.
And finally, although we see a plethora of birds, I finally photographed my first owl! I’ve heard owls, usually around sunset, but hadn’t seen one with enough daylight to grab its photo. Not only was I able to grab its portrait, but the next day I saw it on the lawn. Wondering what it was doing, I saw it catch and eat a mouse.
Life in the country!