Today is the longest day and finally I have something to be joyful about. The weather seems to have turned. It is sunny and warm; the sky is blue and the cicadas are singing. Now that is kind of summer I’ve been looking for.
The garden is bursting into life. The plants are putting out tender new leaves, accentuating their old weather weary leaves that wear their torn, battle-scarred damage like a badge of honour. They made it. But not all did, and there are a few gaps in the garden I’m hoping to fill with new replacements, so long as the garden centre still has them. I suspect I may be saving souls in the clearance section.
Up until recently I didn’t enjoy going into the garden, it brought me down. The only things flourishing were the weeds. But the tables have turned, and I find myself out in the garden inspecting things in the new morning light, while the dew is still heavy on the ground. A day with warm light filtering through young leaves gives a sense of promise. The energy being absorbed can only result in healthier plants, abundant growth and ultimately a plentiful harvest. I’m excited what my garden will do rather than being fearful of what it will become.
A garden bathed in sunshine is loaded with potential and my creativity is unleashed from the gloom that was holding it back. An early harvest of zucchini is on the way to becoming a sweet and spicy pickle, to capture some of this much appreciated sunshine and release it when things are gloomy again in the winter.
And with Christmas and the summer holidays just days away, my handy helper and I chipped away at the weeds removing most of them. It looked a little impossible to do in the time we had, but with friendly chit chat filling the air we soon restored order to the garden. Had we left it, by the time the holidays were over, and we turned our attention back to the garden, these weeds would have been the dominant plants with a stranglehold on all that is good in the garden.
Knowing the garden is in a good place and the weather is right, it allows the joy of Christmas to wash over me wholeheartedly, rather than me trying desperately to get the feels. There is still a chance of more rain, but rain waters an unattended garden better than any other method. And the potential for a productive season can clearly be seen.
Finally, after months of planning and preparation the garden is doing what it should – giving me immense pleasure and happiness. It is always better to go through life feeling joy. There is a lightness in your step and in your heart. All things seem possible and effervesce with a bubbling excitement. It removes the drudgery and even the most arduous chore becomes an opportunity for a blessing. I always try to look for a bright side, even in the darkest days, because if you look hard enough you will always find something to bring a moment of joy.
And with that I have come to the end of my brief little series on advent. I hope you noticed that the Hope, Peace, Love and Joy in the garden reflect the values I share in my life. I may have mixed the order up a little, but the intention was there. The garden is a great teacher, and it easily mirrors life with the lessons being taught. And if you look closely you can see the hand of God unfolding in a blooming flower, the intricacy of a spider web or the strength and support offer by a tendril holding on as the plant grows towards the sun. Or even just witnessing the miracle of a seed bursting into life and growing into a magnificent plant.
So, with that, knowing the garden is in good shape, and will be in good care with the house sitter, and the weather improving, I can take some time to enjoy Christmas festivities and spend time with my family. I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement this year, it has meant a lot. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.
Come again soon – I will be back in the new year with more gardening goodness.
Sarah the Gardener : o)
Sarah you have been inspirational, pragmatic and painfully honest in your missives. I love opening up your emails to find out what next… I too have planted 3 zuchinni plants and will be interested in the pickle recipe as I see there are already 4 forming. Have a wonderful Christmas family time and stay healthy. 🤶🎅🎄❤️
Gosh thank you so much! I’ll let you know how the zucchini pickle turns out when we get a chance to taste it… hopefully it will be delish! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and your year is off to a good start. : o)
Wishing you, the boys and the ungardener
a blessed and restful family time.
break. Looking forward to seeing you again in the new the new year 😀
Thank you so much. I hope you had a wonderful time with your family and the New Year brings you everything you need it to. : o)
Could you possibly compress your photos for web pages? They are so large, and take so very LOOONNNGGG to download that it uses up too much of my monthly usage allowance to read you blog anymore. Very sad, because I do love reading about your garden in summer mode while winter rages around me! Many of us in rural areas have this problem. Thanks!
Oh gosh, I didn’t realise that was a problem, I’ll use smaller images next time. I completely understand, our rural internet is rubbish too! : o)
Sarah, as you celebrate mid-summer and the longest day of the year we here in Nebraska are at the door of Winter with a significant blast of old man Winter. Temperatures have been -10F (-23C) for several days with windchills much colder. The soil temperature at 10 inches is one degree below freezing. A blanket of snow covers everything. It’s time for us in Nebraska to hunker down and dream about Spring. My first seed catalog came about a month ago so that gives me hope. The Farmer’s Almanac which predicts seasonal weather missed the window by about three weeks but was spot on for the cold Winter blast. They are predicting another in end of January or early February. yea. Some are grumbling about this weather but as for me I am rejoicing. This cold weather that freezes the ground to 10 inches will kill much of the bug eggs, so it benefits next year’s gardens. The garden year for me begins in February with planting onion seeds under the grow lights.
Ha, yeah, it’s difficult to keep up with weed pressure by the middle of Summer. It always seems like family responsibilities happen at the most inconvenient gardening times of the year. Mine totally got out of hand this year. Hopefully I can reclaim it this coming year. I’m finding that as I age, I can’t work in the garden as long as I used to so the garden next year will be smaller and probably continue to shrink as years go on.
I pray that your Christmas is a merry one with great memories and the New Year will be the beginning of a wonderful year.
Oh my goodness that is so cold! But there is nothing like a seed catalogue with the promise of summer to warm things up. A garden is always moving and changing and a smaller garden managed well may bring you more joy than an enormous one. Have a wonderful new year, I hope the cold isn’t too harsh and you get to feel the warmth of the sun again soon. : o)