It is a Sunday afternoon in the middle of July. The mercury in the thermometer is climbing high and the sun shines brightly on my balcony. I step outside with a watering can, squinting, and within approximately 2.5 seconds the armpits of my 100% cotton t-shirt are soaked with sweat.
The high-pitched humming of cicadas pierces through the chugging sound of a tortured air conditioner. Oh, lord. How am I supposed to get anything done today? I think to myself. I can’t go out in this weather! But I’m already outside, so I tip the spout of the watering can into the flower pots and examine the state of my plants.
The lettuce leaves, so crisp and fresh last week, are drooping, and there are black marks (my god, did it actually burn??) on the jalapeno plant. This week’s weather forecast in sunny Ottawa brings a delightful temperature of 34°C with 44% relative humidity, making it feel like 42°C, according to the Weather Network .
This is horrible. I feel as though I am going to melt.
But wait a minute. Are those . . . jalapeno peppers??
Oh yes they are! Last week they were tiny white flowers, yet now they’re nearly full-grown. It just goes to show that even though people are wilting in the heat, certain plants are freaking out with happiness over it and finally giving me something to post about. Which is good, because I would rather sit inside the apartment, typing away on the laptop with the windows shut and the air conditioner blasting away, than go outside to do anything today.
Last month my plants weren’t doing much but now they are thriving. Soon they’ll be ready to be plucked from the soil, chopped on the cutting board and transformed into pasta sauces, pestos, salads, herb-infused vinegars, jellies!
One of the first things I planted was Rainbow Chard, since it was highly recommended by McGee and Stuckey’s Bountiful Container. It is supposed to be beautiful and full of vitamin goodness. It will probably find its way into a perogie dish.
The first of the calendula flowers has bloomed. It is often used in herbal remedies due to its skin-healing properties, therefore I am not sure why I grew it. I guess I figured I could experiment with herbal tea or perhaps an infused oil. I’ll post an update when I figure it out. It’s pretty, at least.
There are a few things left to plant such as kale, green garlic and hopefully cayenne pepper if I can find seedlings left at the garden centre. Cherry tomatoes are a possibility, but that involves buying more soil and carrying it home on the bus, the idea of which does not exactly thrill me.
Anyway that’s enough of my blabbering for today. I’m just really happy to see that something good is coming out of this heat wave.
What’s in your garden?