"In early summer, my mother would come home with paper bags full of local apricots for us kids and they were the big, juicy apricots that have a flavor that only local, ripe-picked apricots can have." Photo: David Jensen

Summer draws quietly to a close, and the heat obligingly abates somewhat. We had a few mornings already last week with the temperature in the 60s F, very fresh indeed. It was mild and sunny all weekend, low humidity, a bit of relief finally from one of the hottest summers here, which followed one of the toughest winters, so naturally the garden is looking rather shabby lately.

Saturday, I worked my way methodically through the hedgerow between the two driveways, cutting out all the deadwood and yielding a pile of brush about the size of an SUV. Both days this weekend, I worked at pulling up the vexing, creeping weeds that are infesting the lawn. It is called ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) and is extremely tenacious, the evil thing (see picture, below). If you see it in your garden, you should be alarmed, very alarmed. Then, for good measure, I watered everything as it has been very dry, and I started collecting cleome seeds to scatter next spring.

This is what ground ivy looks like, in case you are lucky enough never to have seen this in your garden. I got mine in the form of seed in a lovely load of manure and I have never had a dull moment – or minute's rest – since that dark day.


I really made an effort this summer to eat more summer fruit and have gorged on cherries (we got some fantastic ones from the Pacific Northwest that were dark and sweet and almost as big as walnuts), blueberries, cantaloupes and now pears. And even our poor raspberry canes, ruthlessly exploited by the birds, have managed to yield us a bowlful of berries every now and then.

Our tomato strategy has paid off only moderately; they were delicious but not very numerous because of the dry summer and because the gardener has another less important but still full-time job and cannot be on hand twice a day to give the tomato plants a deep and refreshing drink, though both the tomato plants and the gardener would much prefer that arrangement.

Copyright 2013 David Jensen

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