This summer will be remembered for the pandemic, the season when I missed out on many activities I look forward to all year – attending festivals, swimming and camping trips. After about three weeks of coming to terms with the loss, I turned my focus on what I can do on our property, rather than what I can’t elsewhere, and tried to appreciate those activities.
One is gardening. After moving to the Town of Vienna a year ago in December, my husband Tim built two raised beds. This spring, he installed a third. In March, we bought tomato, broccoli, lettuce and radish seeds and started them indoors, and once we thought the threat of frost had passed, we planted those sprouts.
Of course, the next weekend, it snowed a little, killing off some of the young tomato plants, so I bought replacements.
As I write this, rain is pounding the Tribune office roof, and I picture the plants taking nourishment. They’ve all grown tall now, with many of the tomato plants blooming and the broccoli sporting crowns. One of the green pepper plants I purchased is producing its first fruit. Raising some of these from seeds indoors that we watered daily in the spring is particularly satisfying. Zucchini, butternut squash and cucumber seeds have produced nice plants that are now beginning to spread out.
Tim planted a strawberry bed last year, probably his fourth attempt to get this crop started. This attempt has been successful, and we picked enough over the past week to make jam on Sunday. Fruit remains ripening on the vines to snack on for the next couple of weeks.
This pandemic summer has provided more time to tend to our garden, picking out weeds and laying newspaper between the rows. Apparently, others are also enjoying the rewards of gardening. Last weekend, I attempted to buy tomato cages, but the store was out of stock.
Summer just officially started on Saturday, and it will be a long season that flies by nevertheless. We have other projects ahead, such as repainting the exterior trim around our windows.
It won’t be one of those unforgettable summers filled with camping adventures, travels and large gatherings, but we will still have evenings around our firepit swatting mosquitoes and watching the fireflies. The pandemic can’t completely take away its magic.