The slows

Papaver somniferum ‘Pink Peony’Gail doesn’t want me to admit this but we’ve both hit The Wall. It’s a June wall and I think we hit it every year as we finish planting and every year we think there’s something really the matter with us. We’ve been so wiped out for the past couple of weeks that Gail’s convinced that she has the flu and I’m so prone to inappropriately timed naps that I’m pretty sure I’ve developed narcolepsy. But what ails us is probably nothing more than “the slows”. Our slows generally coincide with summer humidity to which we haven’t yet acclimatized and that has made the blood in our veins turn to fluffernutter. The newest Display Garden bed under constructionAnd we’re ready to be done with the digging, heavy lifting and mental strain of design and placing plants. The good news is we’ve almost finished planting and moving out of the greenhouse. We just have one… more… new bed in the Display Garden to plant up as soon as Fred, Dan and Matt (their summer intern) finish creating something magical. Look out, kiddos – this one’s for you!

And we’re starting to move on to the next phase of garden chores that are perennially romanticized for being therapeutic: We’re weeding and deadheading! The Cutting Garden got a thorough going over this morning by the Deadheads who made their way at a steady pace through the beds.

The Deadheads weeding the Cutting GardenToni and Nick tete-a-tete

It’s also time to do battle with the bugs – Dick’s veggie garden has a bad case of potato beetles – shown here in the larval stage. He finds drowning them slowly to be wickedly cathartic (though back breaking). Some of the Deadheads who helped him did not get the same degree of enjoyment out of plucking and drowning…

Potato beetle larvae - fat and happy but doomed…

And the gardens are looking amazing – everyone says so – not just me! It’s good for us to take a minute to really gaze at them and enjoy them at their June peak (so long as we don’t take stopping for a minute as a nap’portunity). In the next week we’ll be lost in deadheading the roses and Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis) but right now, this moment, they’re pretty perfect.

The North Garden 6-24-08Salvia ‘Blue Hills’, Rosa ‘Ballerina’ and Geranium ‘Rozanne’ - a North Garden close-up.

We’ve been entertained by a rather exciting electrical rainstorm this afternoon that has brought back some chilly breezes and I’m feeling a titch more energetic all of a sudden (which isn’t to say I couldn’t nap on the bench right now). Do you hit a Wall or get “the slows” this time of year? What do you do to get over it?

4 thoughts on “The slows

  1. If the humidity has caused ‘the slows’ at Blithewold, they’ve created ‘the doldrums’ here in Nova Scotia. We’ve had two uncharacteristically hot and humid days (for June) in a row and I feel positively wiped out. So you have my sympathy. :) A nice clear sunny day with a stiff breeze will probably rejuvenate me. A day at the beach is a guaranteed elixir.

    Nancy, You’re right – a day at the beach would fix me right up – even just a 20 minute swim would sooth my soul. The beach is no more than 20 minutes from here – why aren’t I there right now?? -kris

  2. Kris it is just ‘Summer hibernation time’. Just get a mojito, a lounge chair, and a good book and spend a whole day or two relaxing. I think it is nature’s way of making you sit still to observe. Your pictures are glorious but, perhaps, it is time to trek to Bristol!

    Layanee, It’s definitely time for another visit! I’ll put off my mojito lounge chair days (great idea!) so that I don’t miss you this time. -kris

  3. The cutting garden looks lovely. I can certainly understand why you’d be wanting naps – it looks as if you’ve done a prodigious amount of work this spring and early summer. Enjoy and have a few extra naps – you’ve earned it!

    Thank you, Kate! – I think I will take that nap … zzzzz …. -kris

  4. Wow, the gardens are looking absolutely wonderful, Kris! I can see why you’re feeling The Slows–you’ve obviously earned them. :)

    I never get The Slows, though, I get The Panics. When the calendar flips to July and I realize that I don’t have my entire vegetable garden in already, and there are still lots of herbs and things in 3in pots sitting on the driveway, and the fence isn’t yet painted, and weeds are encroaching everywhere… well, maybe I should call them The FreakOuts, now that I think about it! Much worse than the Panics! :(

    Kim, I’m glad I’m in good freaky company! I’m a wreck especially at home – plants in nursery pots all over the place and the weeds got the upper hand weeks ago. There’s just no rest for the weary! (We love what we do anyhow, right?) -kris

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