Here in Seattle, we like to repeat the words of Mark Twain: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in Seattle.” (Don’t quote us. For one thing, the original phrase read “San Francisco,” not “Seattle,” and for another thing the quote is apocryphal–Mark Twain probably never said it at all. But let us indulge our harmless little fantasy…)
I am writing at my desk in mid-July, wrapped in a blanket and wearing two layers of socks. Even for Seattle, the summer has been cold. A “hot” day has been one that hit 70, and those have been very few. The tomatoes–always touch and go in the Pacific Northwest–are shivering.
I don’t know about y’all, but this weather has totally messed with my gardening plans. The broccoli was supposed to be grown and eaten in time for the tomatoes to be planted. But this spring and early summer, even the broccoli took its time coming to fruition, and was not ready by tomato-time. Where would the tomatoes go? I decided to just plant them in the middle of the broccoli, eat the broccoli whenever it decided to show itself, and remove the plants in time for the tomatoes to grow large. Gardening often requires a creative abandoning of the best-laid plans.
So yes, we were eating the winter vegetable, broccoli, in early July. It was tasty and sweet. The broccoli’s leafy plants are gone now, and all we need is some sun to shine on the other poor, confused vegetables. And sun or no (today’s prediction?–July 15th?–high of 62, and cloudy…) our spirits lift with the blossoming of the first sunflower.