Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seasonal Progression

I've always enjoyed the progression of the seasons, so much so that I think I'd have a hard time living in an area that didn't see a seasonal change. 

Growing up in Mt. Gretna, PA, it was simple to see the change.  Spring brought all the new growth in the woods, new green leaves unfurling and the discovery of all the woodland flowers, like Jack in the pulpit, trailing arbutus and lady's slippers.  And the rhododendrons - Wow!  Summer was magical with the whole place awakening (this was in the old days when year-round residents were in the minority).  Lots of cool green shade and days spent at the lake.  Autumn was perhaps the best - beautiful, brilliant foliage and the lovely leaf mold smell.  And winter was quiet and white like a blanket had been pulled up around you. 

I still love that progression.  I think of it in the vegetable garden.  How fun to pick the first sugar peas and cook them up.  I have a few recipes I pull out to enjoy as soon as they start.  Then the small but sweet alpine strawberries.  I enjoy them on cereal, but my favorite is to just eat them in the garden, still warm from the sun.  Then the wild black raspberries - so sweet.  Next, green beans and yellow beans so I can make three bean salad.  Then tomatoes to enjoy with all the basil I've grown, and peppers too.  I've stopped growing cukes, since I no longer make pickles.  And I've never grown squash.  There are so many floating around and someone's always looking to give some away.

Lucy loves the garden too.  All I have to say is let's go pick sugar peas or beans and off she goes.  Strawberries she'll pick by herself and she also loves raspberries and mulberries.

Of course, the flower gardens present the same progression.  Early spring starts with bleeding hear, candytuft, columbine and dame's rocket.  Close on their heels are big, beautiful oriental poppies and fragrant dianthus.  Then, spiky purple catmint and lavender along with pink Jupiter's beard and bright magenta rose campion.  Summer brings daylilies, yellow St. John's wort, echinacea, anise hyssop, black-eyed Susans and brilliant blue plumbago.  A feast for the eyes!

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