Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June is HOT!

For the past two weeks we've had many days with temperatures in the mid to high 80's and it's felt more like July than late Spring. It is especially unheard of to have warm, dry days during our annual Rose Festival in Portland! (our big downtown float parade is scheduled for June 6th) June is usually a transition month, with our 'real' rainless Summer starting in early July and often extending into October....an important weather trend for anyone with a vineyard!

The high temperatures have caused an explosion of bloom and growth in the garden.....Iris, roses, peony, daisy, rhododendrons and azaleas are all at their peak....and the grass is still green from all of our earlier rain. It is truly a beautiful time in Oregon.

But it's created a lot of work. Just when I've got a full schedule of designs to work on, I'm also having to think about sprinkler systems and daily watering. ( not to mention the burst of weeds that have sprouted and need to be pulled ) The Veggie garden is taking off.....16 tomato plants, beans, cukes, squash, lettuce, basil, eggplant, kale, spinach and swiss chard.... and the grape plants are doing a lot of catching up. The vines have been sprayed with their first round of sulfur and are in the process of having the trunk suckers removed. Every day I make new discoveries walking down the vineyard rows and wandering through the garden spaces.....and it brings both inspiration and renewed energy. It's becoming harder to find places in the garden for the iris my neighbor keeps bringing me....but who can resist? The birds are also singing a virtual symphony during the early morning hours. We've discovered a wonderful Robin's nest built of grasses, twigs and lichen with three robust and hungry babies inside. It was built in a large rhododendron next to our kitchen deck making for perfect viewing. The three babies are growing fast and are having trouble fitting into the nest!

I've come to the conclusion that birds have to work a lot harder than we do when it comes to raising their young and keeping their house in order!

It's not all work and no play....this weekend I'll be heading to the Sitka Art Center on the Oregon Coast for a two day sketching workshop. I'm looking forward to being in the beautiful and rugged Cascade headlands, which juts out into the Pacific Ocean and runs along the North boundary of the Salmon River just above the town of Lincoln City. Nature is at it's best there, and should provide unlimited possibilities for sketching.

I'm wondering what the rest of the Summer will be like.....I only know that it will go by way too fast!

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