First Days of Summer

The Apothecary’s Rose is supposed to have a strong scent.  For me it has never had more than a mild sweet scent.  Even so, I am completely taken with it’s history as one of the earliest cultivated roses and its well known medicinal uses.  When it comes to getting the best medicine from roses you want to get as close to wild roses as you can.  The absolute best rose variety for use in medicine is the dog rose (Rosa Canina) (but good luck finding a nursery that carries this one and if you do, for god’s sake- tell me where you found it!) but this rose is the next  best thing to species roses.  I am not generally a fan of the single roses but this is one of the exceptions.

Borage is charming.  It has uses.  It’s edible.  It’s medicinal.  I confess I like it because it has starry spikey blue flowers that look like they were designed by a ten year old into science fiction.  I haven’t had any in my garden for a long time.  So many things blooming right now are old friends.

You are dying to ask me if my hands are freakishly small, aren’t you?  (What would you say if I said YES?!)  These strawberry leaves were normal sized when I planted them last year.  My secret fear is that someone (poison-man from next door) dumped some toxic waste on my garden and now these plants have superpowers.  Do other people have such enormous strawberry leaves lurking in your garden?  Please share, cause I’m a little freaked out.

In contrast to the leaves, the berries are normal sized.  There are lots of them!  In a couple of days we’ll be able to pick our first bowlful.  One of the things I love about living in Oregon are all the berries.  I realize that California has them too.  But they’re not as good.  I kid you not.  Especially if you like to grow them yourself.  I could never get any strawberries to thrive in my California garden.  I couldn’t keep the ground moist enough to get anything but tiny little berries.  Here, all I have to do is plant them and wait.  They ripen just as the summer sun comes out (there’s little spring sunshine here) and so I don’t even have to water them to get fruit.  The blueberries here are phenomenal and prolific as well.  So are the blackberries and the -

Speaking of berries coloring up- the red currents are turning too!  I’ll have enough of them to make about a quarter cup of sauce.  Maybe.  I’m so excited about them, even if I just had one bunch to eat raw, I couldn’t be more pleased.  I love tart food!

This is my most beautiful kitchen utensil.  Mitch made it from black walnut wood.  From a walnut tree that grew here in my county.  I never knew a spoon could make me so happy.

Philip has submitted our HAMP loan papers, this time to actually be looked at by an underwriter with the bank.  We should know in a month if we get to stay here.  If we do, we’re going to be really broke again.  I think it will be worth getting to stay right here.  Looking down from my eyrie of an office on my monastery garden full of California poppies, lupines, calendula, columbines, nasturtiums, vegetables, and feverfew.

There is such a chaos of beautiful, edible, and healing things planted all around me here.  I want to be here.

2 thoughts on “First Days of Summer

  1. Lisa

    My June bearing strawberry leaves are just as large. The ever bearing leaves are “normal” sized.

    I hope you get to stay. We were in the same position last year and were able to make it work.

  2. angelina Post author

    I’m glad you got to make your situation work! Gives hope to the rest of us still teetering on the edge of the unknown.

    You know what’s weird? These huge leaves are my everbearing and the normal sized ones are my June bearing. I’ve noticed something else and plan to write a post about it- the June ones taste better. I’ve heard this opinion shared before and it’s interesting to me that I’m finding it true too. The everbearing berries are mostly watery tasting. I’m going to make jam from them today. Not good enough for straight eating. The cooking with sugar should concentrate the flavors though, so hopefully that will go well.

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