Happy Summer Solstice!

Today is the solstice and tomorrow is supposedly the longest day of the year, two days I have been looking forward to for months and will likely be looking forward to come next December. Low and behold the weather has cooperated. Skies are currently clear and sunny. You could even call the current temperature “warmish” something I have not been able to do for over a week now. We’ve had torrents of rain nearly everyday recently and the temperatures have dipped so low that I’ve been forced to pull out sweaters I thought I had seen the last of until September. This turn in the weather has left me very worried and anxious about the kind of summer ahead, so the return of the sun has lifted my mood substantially this morning, even if the forecast is calling for 40% chance of showers.

I shake my fists in your general direction Environment Canada!

While I am known to complain, “This flower is wilting” once or twice or thousands of times when the temperature and humidity rises above a comfortable level, I really depend on the intensity of summer to make me feel even marginally positive about the future coming of winter. I want to sweat like a pig and really suffer from the heat so that when I look into my future through the haze of high smog days and the salty, stinging sweat burning my eyes, a future engulfed in snow and ice almost looks good. What I do not want to experience is a repeat of that grey, cold, and rainy summer a few years back. All of the sun-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers under-produced and the basil rotted on the spot.

Now, THAT would quite possibly be the worst thing to happen in America.

But so far only I am complaining. The plants have been loving the constant stream of showers. Everything is lush and beautiful — you can practically sit and watch the mint and tomatoes grow an inch. I already have a first hot pepper developing on the ‘Chinese Five Color’ plant, a personal record I am sure. And when I think about all the time and water I have saved over the last week I realize I should just shut up and enjoy it before the inevitable drought and crippling heat arrives and I find myself whining about the endless buckets of sloshing water and my horrible humidity hair.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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8 thoughts on “Happy Summer Solstice!

  1. Gayla, I completely agree with you! It’s been a tough week in Toronto. I’ve been worried about my plants with the change in temperature from 40s last week to possible single digit nights. But they seem to be ok. And it has been nice not having to water – although I’ve also neglected most other garden tasks, and have to catch up on some weeding and planting now that it is nice out! I’m just happy to see the sun :) I can handle the cool weather, but a whole week of grayness doesn’t make me very happy.

  2. Not everything is looking lush in my world- the potatoes in a bucket seem to have drowned- guess I drilled drainage holes too late. And one whole planter just washed away, dirt and all, in last Friday’s deluge. It was close to the downspout and when I looked out Saturday morning there was nothing left in it- just a bare planter!

    I tried to console myself with similar thoughts about not having to water yesterday, right about the time I dragged my soggy laundry off the line for millionth time this week, and interspersed with fantasies of building an ark.

    Happy Solstice Everyone!

  3. Personally, the Toronto weather has been a godsend for me – I had to completely tear out my first crop of beets due to a leaf miner infestation, but I’ve replanted (along with some garlic that should help deter the pests), so the wet and somewhat-cool weather is exactly what they need to get rolling. I too hope the sun comes out a little more in July and August so I get a nice crop of tomatoes.

  4. Hmmmm. Longest day of the year. . .sounds like the perfect day for gardening (weather be damned)!

  5. yeah midsummer! i’m going to a swedish midsummer party in the park. it will be just like this:

  6. OMG WUT WUT WUT! I’ve marked summer solstice down on my calendar since January so I won’t miss it again this year, and my calendar says it’s on the 29th! That’s when Kensington Market has their Summer Solstice Sunday!

    - late to the party again

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