Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

Today is the Summer Solstice. In the northern hemisphere this is the longest day and shortest night of the year. Some of your may celebrate by gathering herbs or performing 108 yoga sun salutations. I’m enjoying the day by watching the birds out my window while I write.

I’ve missed writing my blog entries due to fighting several auto- immune diseases which may become a future blog.

Each spring I plant veggies and by summer lose them to the rabbits, deer, groundhogs and squirrels. This summer I’ve already lost chard, raspberry, cucumber, and sunflower plants. Even though, I planted them in my high double fence garden. So I’m trying to be more sustainable by eating native “weeds”, such as dandelion, mustard and violet flowers and leaves, and plantain. I also grow herbs, such as arugula, basil, cilantro, sage, parsley, mint, and chives which easily reseed and are not eaten by the above animals. So far I haven’t had a lot of luck with rosemary though my lavender does well. My stevia plant I must take inside each winter.

My dog and I are constantly scaring the squirrels from the bird feeder. However, flying squirrels seem magical. A flying squirrel family lives in a blue bird house. About twice a year I check the box and am pleasantly surprised when one jumps out. Last week the flying squirrel did not disappear, but flatten herself on the pole above the box. I assume this was because she had babies inside.

With all the rain we’ve had this spring and early summer I feel like I’m in the jungle. My flowers are lovely and lush. I grow flowers that are easy to care for and not eaten by animals. Such as daisy, echinacea, black eye susan, aster, cornflower, dianthus, gladiolas, iris, daffodil, peony, hellebores, mullein, red hot poker and yucca. I plant tulips amongst the daffodils, which protect them from munching deer. Only the lilies next to my house are usually untouched. My butterfly bush grew up above my porch so I cut the large trunk to four inches from the ground this winter. The bush is growing back and producing flowers.

Native “weed” flowers such as mulberry and milkweed also grow in my garden. Clover grows in my lawn. Several weed flowers, such as false strawberry and ragweed require year round weeding or they will take over my yard and gardens.

I’ve been squashing beautiful florescent green beetles which are munching on my plants.

Some shrubs are so prolific that grazing deer prune but don’t destroy. My mock orange bushes, burning bush and nadines always look great. I need to put a net on my small blueberry bushes which have not been bothered until this summer. Something is eating berries along with the branches.

Please contact me if you can suggest other veggies or herbs which are not eaten by animals.