A Glorious Tangle


It’s been raining, what I call the annual Labor Day rain dump. The weather always changes the last week of August or the first week of September. This is when summer breaks. When it clears, there may be some snow on the high peaks. We will still get some good weather, but the nights are longer and cooler.

I’m glad to be home, drying and cleaning my mountain gear, putting things away. Today I have canned peaches, and cut up several pounds for the dehydrator. Yesterday I made “garden sauce” to freeze–tomato puree, cooked down with all sorts of vegetables and herbs added. The garden is a glorious tangle. Cucumber and nasturtium vines wind through peas and sunflower stalks. Bush beans hide slim green pods. The canteloupe that came up out of the compost has one netted fruit, which I hope will ripen before the first frost. I am watching the pears and grapes for ripeness. The pumpkins turn orange.

I have been giving away bouquets of zinnias–the more I cut, the more they bloom. I plant them in May, then despair as they hobble along stunted by the cold wind and chewed by earwigs. The heat of July hits and they take off, growing waist-high or taller. I love the intensely bright warm colors, and classic flower shapes. A handful of zinnias is guaranteed to bring a little optimism to any room.




It’s becoming clear to me that I make gardens that appeal to me visually as well as olfactorily (is that a word?). Smell is important. Lilacs, honeysuckle, roses, sweet peas, garden phlox and now the oriental lilies. Evening scents are the best. I like to be puttering in the garden and follow a nose trail to the flower. Sometimes I bring flowers in the house just to smell them. This is a transient pleasure.