As I hung my laundry on the clothes line this morning, I felt the arrival of summer. I saw a blue swallow-tail butterfly skipping through the open field behind my house and I was grateful for her return. Every plant that survived the winter has emerged by now, I water my garden each morning diligently, and the first black-eyed susan has opened. Indeed, Northwest Florida is humming with summer.
This time of year makes me think of walking through my grandmother’s garden. The smell of magnolia blossoms wafting through the air. The other day I suddenly had the urge to make a pitcher of iced tea and sit outside with a glass garnished with mint. My dining room table was empty, so I filled a bowel with delicate blue hydrangea. I watch in anticipation my tomato plants creating tiny yellow flowers that will soon be in my fresh marinara sauce. Nearby the African Blue Basil grows steadily, just enough to make my first of many pesto linguine dishes.
In my greenhouse my Moonflower vine stretches a little more each day. In a few weeks it will be on my front porch trellis with pristine white flowers at sunset attracting the moths to its sweetness. I listen attentively as I go to sleep at night to the choir of musical crickets outside my window. The night air is thick and sultry.
Of all the things I love about a southern summer the one thing I cherish the most is the breeze. It makes its presence known, for it wraps you in its warmth. I know so many who despise humidity, but together with the wind it can give a gardener a treat. Many times I have been weeding in the evening and I take off my hat to wipe my brow and then a gust of air passes me by cooling me down. Anyone knows that in the cold being wet is undesirable, but in the summer it can be welcome. So think on these things before you let the heat bear you down. Enjoy this season for all it has to offer, but I recommend the early morning or the evening to admire it at its best.