Tuesday, June 28, 2011

USNA Herb Garden....I walked through the Herb Garden this afternoon

We missed GrayC, the Herb Garden curator, at the FONA/NBF luncheon; she had volunteers today and ate lunch with them. She missed some wonderful sandwiches and seriously decadent desserts. Every year FONA and the NBF (National Bonsai Foundation) host a lunch for Arboretum employees, a good chance to talk with people who might technically be co-workers but with whom you rarely interact. And mix with FONA board members and such.

I had an opportunity to speak with Johann Klodzen, NBF Director, always an agreeable experience. Among other things, we discussed seasonality and the weather. When we're around our own kind, that is, other gardener, weather is not just small talk, but serious business. It's been one week since the first day of summer; that means, of course, that the days are getting shorter. Not so's you'd notice though; we've lost a total of 81 seconds in 7 days. Damn Science anyway; an intellectual awareness that things (the day length) are going in the wrong direction is so easily translated into a visceral unease. It's the same thing that drops Fall out of the "best season" spot into a weak second place to spring. Still though the seeds of winter are the product of earliest spring. I suppose I ought to learn to embrace all the seasons. I'm just not a winter guy!

Summer's been kind of funny this year. We've had a good number of days right around 100F and humid, but then we've had more where the temps stayed in the mid to low 80's and the humidity was low. We, the humans that is, favor the latter, most of the plants seem happier at high temperatures if they can also have high humidity. Today hot and humid, tomorrow cooler and drier. Three weeks from now the average temperatures will begin to drop. It seems like August is the hottest month, but it's really the third week of July. Right now as I write this it's raining hard....real hard. I think it rained today on the Florida garden; it looks like we matched the rainfall for May and June today! Finally.

Anyway, thinking about GrayC, I stopped at the Herb Garden on the way in at the end of the day and walked about for a bit admiring things. She popped up just as I was leaving the rose garden and volunteered that she particularly enjoyed watching sparrows eat Japanese bettles. I had to agree that that was a pleasant and a satisfying sight.

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