• Celebrate the Summer solstice

    by  • June 21, 2011 • Garden, Sierra Foothills, Summer, Weather

    Welcome Summer!

    On the summer solstice which is today, the Northern Hemisphere receives more sunlight than on any other day of the year, but that doesn’t mean the first day of summer is also the hottest day of summer,…except here where I live.

    Rudbeckia, Black-Eyed Susan, a California native

    Rudbeckia, Black-Eyed Susan, a California native

    Garden first, breakfast second

    Going out to the garden first thing with a cup of coffee and some clippers can be a good way to start the day during our summer heat spells in the Sierra Foothills. I try to take advantage of the long days by getting out in the garden before I eat breakfast! Watering pots and clipping the spent blooms in the garden are much more pleasant then and it’s amazing how much you can do in half an hour or so. With no chores in mind, you can putter and groom, pinching a flower here and there before you begin your day. 

    Coreopsis and Indian Hats, both native California wildflowers.

    Coreopsis and Indian Hats, one native California wildflower, one not.

    If I Want to Do More.

    If I have more time, and  aren’t hungry yet, I can stick a trowel in my back pocket as I go, for ruffling up the soil in any flowerpots you may have. This is a good way to tell how wet or dry the soil is in them. I may think I’m watering adequately when, in reality, the water’s going down the sides of the pot!  It’s good to get down low to see what’s going on there. Flowers that need to be clipped back now are Shasta daisies, Black-eyed Susans, Echinacea and some butterfly bushes. I throw the seed heads into spots where I’d like more to reseed.

    All that was left of non native wildflower mix from 2006 were the CA native Rudbeckia hirta

    In 2010, all that was left of non native wildflower mix from 2006 were the CA native Rudbeckia hirta

    A Gardener’s Meditation

    As I wander around the garden in the early morning and observe how the garden is faring I think about what changes can be made for the next planting season. The color, smells and sounds can be soothing for a brief time before I get to the work day. The mid-summer potted plants need attention every day so this could become a morning ritual that I come to enjoy.

    I’m going in to eat!

    Glorious Blacked-eyed Susan

    Glorious Blacked-eyed Susan, with two 'Love-bugs', Bordered Plant Bugs. See 'em?


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.