August has never been a favorite month. It’s a signal that summer is nearly finished. Most gardens are winding down. Over the years at my herb farm, it was always the most disappointing business-wise. Few people wanted to purchase plants or garden decor. Even fewer wanted to tour summer-weary gardens or attend workshops. The lavender fields were just rows of half-spheres of gray. August is generally our hottest month, and dry so there’s lots of hose dragging and watching things turn olive drab. It was just a month to endure until the excitement of fall, with its bright orange pumpkins, warty gourds and colorful mums pulled folks out of their lethargy. However, in 2015 things changed. That August was the birth of the potager. Other than when I entered first grade many, many, many years ago, this was the most exciting August ever! I could hardly wait for each day to begin, because there was so much to do, so many projects, endless anticipation and possibilities of what could be. That new outlook still perks and twizzles through my mind and bloodstream. Now August is a month of plotting and planning. It’s time spent harvesting and preserving, and quickly replacing finished crops with new seeds and seedlings. It’s pouring over the journal entries of 2016 and 2017 to be sure that beets are planted in time to be pickled and that “Wando” peas germinate in time to make a crop… and reading the reminder that they are so tall they need a fence. It’s altering planting times a week earlier so a crop, like these mini pumpkins that didn’t quite mature last year before frost has a better chance of success this time, assuming the weather is “normal.” And August is the time to plan and plant selected beds with crops like this spinach (on the left) and kale (not yet germinated) that will get a polytunnel covering in autumn…rather than having a row here & a row there all over the potager that are impossible to cover. That was poor execution last year, indeed and a mistake that will not be repeated. So, even though right now, on this first day of August, the potager beds look a bit emptier than last month and the month before, fear not for they are filled with possibilities, just as in spring!