Grow For It: Ode to Summer

This summer was tremendous

But like all seasons it must end
Saying “goodbye” breaks my heart;
Farewell my old friend.

We have learned much this year
My children and me
Best summed up by ten
As below you shall see.

One is for the lady bugs
The first dainty heralds of summer
They are actually beetles that
Capture children’s attention like a drummer.

Two is for the roses
Climbing ones keep an eye on
So the tall stems you train
Are not the rootstock, but the scion.

Three is for the brown garden snails
Whose appetite my plants can never satiate
It is common knowledge they are nocturnal
But did you know they also hibernate?

Four is for patio tomatoes
In as many years I just cannot grow
Next year will be an herb garden instead;
A decision made with all the grace I can bestow.

Five is for the green beans
We gave them lattice to keep stable
Need not have bothered for bush beans;
Next time I will surely read the label.

Six is for eggplant
In the past, success they have always evaded
Until this year; they are gorgeous!
And thriving behind the tomatoes, shaded.

Seven is for the kale
We love to make into chips
The aphids were a formidable nemesis
Who left me exasperated with hands on my hips.

Eight is for the dragonflies,
Who are both intriguing and bold,
Having been around since before the dinosaurs,
As a species they are very very old.

Nine is for mud,
Made of water and dirt
By my children as I toil;
Oh well, there goes another shirt!

And finally, ten is for the memories
The good and the bad I will always hold dear
I thank thee, Summer, for your beneficence
And look forward to seeing you again next year.

Would you like to continue to harvest luscious, home-grown vegetables even after the heat of summer subsides? If so, now is the time to plant for a fall and winter harvest. Learn how to grow a successful winter vegetable garden from UC Master Gardener Zach Dowell Saturday, Aug. 9 at 9 a.m. The three-hour class is free, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 130 Placerville Drive, Placerville.

Master Gardeners are seeking opinions on where, when and what subjects should be taught at the free public education gardening classes. Help the gardeners understand how to best serve the community by filling out a brief online survey at Surveys are also available at the Master Gardener office.

UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County are available to answer home gardening questions at local farmers markets and at its office Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m.-noon by calling 530-621-5512. Walk-ins are welcome at the office, located at 311 Fair Lane in Placerville.

For more information about the public education classes and activities go to the Master Gardener Website at Sign up to receive the online notices and e-newsletter at Master Gardeners is also on Facebook.

Sarah Preiss-Farzanegan MD

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