Seattle was beautiful: much nicer weather than here–my family–ferry rides on the Sound–drives through Stevens Pass seeing snow while eating ice cream purchased in 80-degree weather. I brought back a souvenir: rosemary seeds from my mom’s plants. Hers live through her winter. She has the most beautiful strawberry patch, with the tastiest strawberries. Her secret: spread the slug bait long before the strawberries appear.

I noticed when we arrived last night that the anise hyssop was growing obscenely high and so were the weeds, and that my greenhouse had tipped over again. (I learned from the last two times, so it was empty and I didn’t care.) Today I donned my gardening duds and ventured into the garden.

Unholy mess indeed. There’s so much–the parsley is starting to set seed; the corn is flowering; the corn is taller than me; tomatoes already need more tying (which I delivered); green tomatoes are starting to appear; I have no idea how I’ll try to save seed from cucumbers with the tangles they’re in; the zucchini and potimarron have produced babies; the cucumbers will be ready soon; the leeks are looking like leeks; the broad beans are succumbing to neglect and bugs; the garlic was browning and fallen and I pulled half of it.

I have grown garlic! One of these has a round of bulbils, growing at ground level. I’m not sure if they’re mature but I’m definitely going to try planting them.

These will be pasta sauce someday soon.

And then there’s the herb garden, where the blueberry bush was under four inches of water in its pot. Poor thing. (I have a new baby blueberry bush from a couple of seeds I planted in my pot at work. They grew while I was gone so I brought a seedling home.) The beans are beaning; the Golden Sweet is dead, long live the Golden Sweet; the dill and cilantro are flowering again so I cut them back; so are the oregano and lemon balm and they can go to it; the feverfew and safflower might be too; I pulled the Sorrento broccoli plants to dry the seed indoors; the Chinese cabbage are looking good again.

Unholy mess, indeed. The weeds are everywhere, of course, but not as unbearable as I’d thought. A week in July wasn’t crucial. The garden is leaping into life, and though I’m scrambling to catch up, I’m rejoicing in its fervor.