Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summertime in Vancouver

I haven't felt too much like blogging lately--partly, there's that day job that I call my career, but it's also so much easier to sit back and enjoy the summer.  I recently saw an article in the Los Angeles Times that named Seattle as the U.S. city with the coolest, most comfortable summer weather, with Portland and San Francisco as second and third.  Had the survey included Canada, surely Vancouver would have tied for first, since we basically enjoy the same weather as Seattle.  Summer 2013 is turning out to be particularly gorgeous.  Some years (e.g., 2011 and 2012) the weather hardly warms up until August, but this year we've had plenty of sun and truly glorious weather since May.  It all makes up for the grey gloom the rest of the year.

As a result, all of the fruit is ripening earlier than usual.  I've already started picking the blackberries down the alleyway at least a week or two earlier than usual.  My Shiro plums also look as if they'll be ready soon, whereas last year, I didn't pick most of them until the second half of August.

Here's how some of them looked this morning:

How many did you see in the photo?   I counted more than two dozen.  We're not looking at the crazy bumper crop that we had last year, but altogether, I think there are around 100-200 plums ripening.

Our brown turkey fig tree, which we planted three or four years ago, is also doing well.  I face a dilemma with the fig in this picture:

To pick or not to pick?
Is it ready yet?  It feels soft enough to eat, but it doesn't have much color yet.  But if I wait too long, the crows could get it.  I might pick it this evening.

Behind the fig tree, our butterfly bush is also in full bloom:

We used to have two butterfly bushes, but they were too close together, and also too crowded next to the fig tree and the lilac bush, so I dug one of them out a few weeks ago.  In Vancouver, the standard lot is about 4000 square feet, much smaller than what's typical in, say, the States, so houses are built with small footprints, and yards are little patches of heaven.  When DH and I moved here, our house had nothing but lawn, so we put in all of the plants ourselves.  Neither of us actually knows anything about gardening, and we didn't take future growth into account very carefully--after all, everything looked so puny when we planted it!  Alas, we have a cedar tree that will be next to go, before it takes down our telephone and cable lines.

Hope all of you in the northern hemisphere are also enjoying a wonderful summer, wherever you may be.

No comments:

Post a Comment