Every day I take a basket with me into the gardens, even when my intention is solely to water the lettuce or tie up tomatoes. There’s always something ready for harvest. Today, the first Dark Star zucchini. The plants are enormous at two months old. They are deep-rooted as advertised, going a week between waterings with nary a wilted leaf, and they sailed through a May frost without damage. The Dark Star debut marks that slow tipping point into abundance that comes faster and fuller as summer proceeds. Pretty soon I’ll need a wheelbarrow when I visit the zucchini.
Also in this morning’s basket, the border gladioli that are the stars of early summer bouquets, and calendula flowers to dry. These are ‘Resina’, a variety with copious amounts of the resins that make calendula such a useful addition to any kitchen garden medicine chest. Not that I’ve been making salves or ointments with these flowers, not for decades, but there is no reason not to include medicinal-quality calendula in any sunny garden. Sow it once and it reseeds forever, adding its cheery presence in a way that never becomes invasive. And there it is, should its healing abilities ever be needed.