The Fruits of Summer’s Labor

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It seems just yesterday was the beginning of summer. I was eating pancakes and watching as my neighbors perfected their yards. All around me, houses line the street with mostly perfectly manicured lawns and beautiful beds of annual peeping blooms. 

A subtle routine has been created within the neighborhood as the melody of mowers and whackers starts Sunday mornings. This sound of the weekend is something that has created a borderline soothing rhythm around my house. It reminds me of home, with my dad using a blower to clean up the nursery, or my mom pressure washing the patio. It is a musical symphony that signifies the warmer weather and gardeners on a mission. 

While I enjoy this small bustle on weekends, there are times when a quiet stillness is necessary. With the pinnacle of summer coming to a point, I find myself seeking out a little extra peace. I have found this exact peace lately in my small excuse for a garden. 

In particular, I have been filling my evenings with careful trimming, pruning, snipping, and picking. Of course, all this happens in the near dark after I have used all remaining daylight working on yet another house project, usually making the “almost done” runs to the hardware store. I am happy to report that by the flickering of my phone flashlight, my vegetable starts look stunning.

I find it important to note that my backyard is perfectly sized, a little on the large size if anything; however, it is undergoing a major refresh (the palm tree still stands, much to my husband’s and my dismay). This has limited my gardening to a small handful of potted vegetables. Regardless of size, I am more than happy to baby these plants in my spare time.   

It has been the small things, the tedious picking and watering that I have found to be the best stress relief in my yard. Details that I know are not everyone’s favorite. In my experience, plants are needy and want just as much attention as you can give them. Something is soothing about taking good care of something and watching your work and effort succeed. 

With so few plants, it has been hard to judge success in my garden. The lettuce remains weed-free, and my husband has been eating salads for weeks. The basil plants have been revived after the season’s rocky, wet start. Sweet pea blooms adorn my kitchen window as the sun brings fresh flowers. Even the blueberry bush that was planted by the gardener before me has green berries just waiting to ripen. By all means, the majority of my garden has been deemed fruitful. 

I find it disappointing that my main crop, my pride and joy, my tomatoes, have not been as productive yet. While I have had many, many blooms, none have proved quite fruitful. I watch for a green sprout but notice many blooms simply do not turn into fruit. While some may find this disheartening, I still have my hopes up as the weather continues to warm up and shine. It is still early in the summer, after all. 

I know I have put in all of the work to create a comfortable space for my plants, now is the time to start to enjoy the fruits of my labor (even if it is just admiring a strong tomato plant). At The Garden Corner, there have been several instances where a stray strawberry has disappeared off the plant. Admittedly, I may have stopped to look for any fresh ripe snacks. Every time I whisper to the plants, “just enjoying the fruits of our labor.”

Time continues to fly, and the plans set aside for summer have come rushing to face us. While the world continues to go around, I might encourage you to enjoy some fruits of your labor. It may be in the form of a fresh vegetable grown from your garden, a trip to your favorite store, a book you have been waiting to read, or a long-overdue vacation. Any way you decide to cash in your hard work, find a way to enjoy the fruits of your labor this month.