Get the gardening done early and enjoy the sun

Take time for yourself and enjoy the summer weather

Everyone should have a son who is “handy” … one that can do all sorts of things that their mother can’t.

Last week I groaned mightily about the heat, and he came in and changed everything. Now I’m thinking of buying a fur coat!

I’m kidding, of course, but it has made a profound difference to my daughter and me. I’m now considering altering my will, giving him a major share of everything — all my plants for example, the lucky fellow!

He showed me the way to place my large fan in a doorway that would cause better air circulation but I’m blessed if I can remember which door he suggested — the one to push hot air out or the one that would bring outside air in?

What a twit I’ve turned out to be! I guess an experiment is in order. I don’t want to admit to him that I can’t remember the pearls of wisdom that he left with me.

The sweet pea seeds that I soaked and have now planted, are now, I fear, not going to grow.

There is no sign of any life in the large pot I planted the seed in, and it has been a week.

Oh well, you win some and you lose some — and I was asking a lot,  planting sweet peas in midsummer, so even at my age there are lots of things to learn.

When it is this hot, you should try to get up early and do what gardening seems necessary before the earth begins to swelter and spend the rest of the day doing as little as possible. Some watering will be absolutely necessary but when that is accomplished, either stretch out in a deck chair in the shade, or come inside, draw the blinds, put a pitcher of cold water in the fridge to chill, get a good book and stretch out on the couch and prepare to enjoy the summer.

Pretend you are on holiday in Hawaii, let someone else do the cooking, don’t even make the bed.

Sounds good to me! How about you?

I am reminded of my doctor brother who once said he had a monkey on his back that every time he stopped for a rest, snarled at him, “lazy bum”, “lazy bum!” until he got up and returned to work.

He is now retired, but just a shadow of the man he was, with terrible arthritis, nearly blind, grouchy and dis-satisfied with pretty much everything.

So take heed.

Take time for yourself, enjoy the summer, go to the beach, wade in the ocean, drink cold beer (or icy pop), eat maple-walnut ice cream and just relax, forgetting all the those things that you should be doing.

Enjoy this wonderful weather.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.