It's this time of year I've come to like the most in my garden. Unlike the beginning of all the blossoms or the first harvest, it's the time of year when the garden has a rhythm. Everything is growing like crazy and requires regular watering. A handful of fertilizer can work wonders within a few days.
The dahlias have begun, sunflowers are opening, and the lavender gives off that gentle herb-floral-antiseptic waft when my leg brushes it along the path. Hydrangeas are blooming full tilt. Roses are on their second round. The bird bath needs to be filled every day. Sedum is getting ready for a fall performance. And although the days are too hot for lettuce or spinach, the green beans are thriving and padron peppers and heirloom tomatoes are setting their fruits. It's now that I begin thinking about what to plant in the bare garden spaces vacated by the lettuce and peas, wondering if I can harvest anything I start now before the frost. The tristar strawberries are turning red.
This is the time of year when I know I've accomplished something in the garden, when I really feel like a gardener. And, not coincidentally, it's the time of year I long for most in February.