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Summer!

07/29/08 5:55PM By Ruth Page
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(HOST) There's an old saying that every cloud has a silver lining, but commentator Ruth Page thinks that if the rainclouds of this July have a lining  - it's probably green.

(PAGE) Our incredible mix of cloud, rainshowers, thunderstorms, and occasional Very Welcome Sunshine has put Vermont’s greenery and summer flowers at the front of the stage. They’re LOVING it. Except for two tomato plants in my garden - plants, trees, bushes, grasses, weeds, and both garden- and wildflowers are putting on their best show in years.
 
Never have we seen so many luscious wildflowers along the roadsides. There are always some charming little golden Bird’s-Foot Treefoils. But this year they’re taller and spread about in more fields, making splashes like sunshine even when it’s pouring rain.
 
Ferns are growing toward rainforest size, as are the nasty burdocks, with leaves broad enough to pinch-hit as umbrellas in a sudden storm. As for the Queen Anne’s Lace plants, their high broad umbels make spacious landing fields for visiting bees; and the ubiquitous little white clovers want no blank spaces anywhere. Among the small whites are ample tall reddish-purple clover "lollipops," as well as small daisy-like blooms that I don’t recognize.
 
Forsythia blooms are gone, but the plants themselves are bursting with vigorous green leaves to give the plants strength and food for the coming year.
 
My walks along Webster Road and in an adjacent park-like property are a constant joy. By mid-July I was finding bushes heavy with the little pink thimbleberries that offer sweet sustenance to passersby. This year’s raspberries are big and bouncy, and as for the blueberries, many look like children’s marbles, darker blue than the sky, and so juicy it’s as well to wear a bib when eating them as is, on cereal, or in pie.
 
So, I ask you, in my little vegetable garden where the lettuce, beets, carrots and beans are rapidly qualifying for the prize table at a local Fair, why have lower branches on my two Early Girl tomato plants turned brown, and this early in the season are producing no more blooms? I’ll probably never know. They’re planted in pure compost, they get plenty of water but are not standing in puddles, and I’m just lucky I can get substitute salad-tomatoes nearby.
 
Tomatoes or not, I feel privileged to have time to enjoy the  lavish feast of wildings for the eyes and the tongue.

Happy, Happy Summertime!
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