What a difference a day makes!

…especially when it is suddenly 89 degrees, after nearly a month of unusually cool 50’s and  60’s!  All through May, the cool weather crops thrived in overcast, chilly days and even cooler nights.  It seemed to rain every other day.  And then, suddenly the temperatures soared and the potager crops changed overnight!  I had to exchange my cup of tea for the camera, when I ventured to the potager this morning and saw the transformation.  My mostly green garden was suddenly colorful!  This “Frilly” Mustard looks like a bouquet!DSC04855

I guess I should have incorporated it into more meals while the leaves were tender and mild.  The “Bloody Mary” mustard also burst into bloom overnight, but it’s not as pretty as the “Frilly.”  The flowers are milder, though.  You can see I nibbled a few stalks!DSC04858

Sadly, the “Little Jade” Napa Cabbage also bolted, before it even formed “heads,” but aren’t the flowers pretty?  Tasty, too.DSC04857

The “Long Standing Bloomsdale” shown here won’t be standing long, because it has already bolted (although “Gangbusters” is still gorgeous!  I’ll be planting it exclusively next spring!)DSC04864

It appears my weekend meals will include many salads and canapes with edible flowers, and soon those crops will be in the compost bins, making room for crops that enjoy the upper 80’s that are forecast for the coming week.  Suddenly it is summer!  On the plus side, the heat wave has performed magic, turning white strawberries into these brilliant red beauties. I’ve already picked 4 quarts, so there is shortcake in my future.DSC04860

And the snow peas burst into pretty purple bloom!

DSC04859 The tomatillo are basking in the warmth that encouraged these blossoms.DSC04861 It was windy, so the yellow flowers look a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea.  This heat will cause the lettuces to bolt soon, so we’ll be eating these beautiful little “Tom Thumb” butterheads.Little Gem Lettuce compressed  However, this sudden change filled me with near panic.  My brain yelled, “The growing season is whizzing by, and I’m not savoring it enough.  I’m not harvesting enough, fast enough. Look at all this waste!”  And then, a hummingbird flew past my shoulder headed for a nearby nasturtium bloom.  A big swallowtail butterfly flitted from flower to flower.  I put the camera aside and picked up my tea cup for a leisurely stroll through the potager.  So what if a few mustard plants become compost?  We had stir-fry and salads that included them, and their pretty foliage added to the garden design, but now I can experiment with something else in their place.  Maybe something tastier and even prettier.  And meanwhile, the potager crops are being enjoyed by the butterflies and hummingbirds. And that makes a big difference.


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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2 Responses to What a difference a day makes!

  1. Robin E. says:

    Thanks for reminding me of the magic of butterflies and hummingbirds. Also birdsong. And the way a warm berry tastes straight from the plant. I whiz through my days wishing for a few more hours in a day, but what I do accomplish is lovely. Excess goes to the chickens so it isn’t waste after all. And it really is worth it all just for those moments every day watching the beehive and strolling through the gardens.


    • carolee says:

      It is too easy to miss those important “value-added” aspects of gardening…the time outdoors with Mother Nature, letting your body get in rhythm with the seasons, viewing the miracles. So easy to just get lost in the job list. We all need to keep reminding one another of our blessings as gardeners! Best of luck and herbal blessings.


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