A bloomin’ good time

Other than Westshore winters, the remaining seasons seem to transition quickly. The key to making the most of them is to slow down and take time to enjoy the beauty and the bounty of each! Photo by Egon Luengo

Come late September, the last hardy summer blooms will deliver a resplendent season’s finale, outperforming fragile floral specimens and making way for the rich tapestry of autumn’s asters and mums. So why contemplate September now?

Let’s face it. Summer is fleeting. Although it officially arrives on June 21, by the time the July Fourth fireworks fizzle and their sulfuric haze fades into the humid night sky, it’s practically Labor Day. Savor summer while you may. Slow down. Take time to “stop and smell the roses,” figuratively or literally.

There will be a profusion of color overflowing in garden pots, planters, window boxes, hanging baskets and flower beds adorning the neighboring communities of Westlake and Bay Village. Each floral expression celebrates the season!

For those wanting to literally smell roses, Bay Village’s Memorial Rose Garden in Cahoon Park is your spot. Just take care not to share your space with a busy bee while leaning closer to catch a whiff of roses’ sweet perfume! After all, you’ll lose sight of bees’ benefits when sporting a sting!

Continuing your floral tour, head south and cross Bay’s border where “Westlake in Bloom” is underway. Those who travel Hilliard Boulevard from the high school to the Rocky River line pass approximately 220 city-provided flower boxes caringly filled by local residents, businesses and clubs. Their collective contributions comprise one facet of Westlake’s citywide summer beautification program.

Some Westshore residents create and maintain impressive landscapes, large, medium and small on their own properties.

Others who establish vegetable gardens are rewarded with fresh seasonal produce. Gardeners know there is nothing that compares with the taste and the texture of a sun-warmed tomato just picked from the vine. In addition to enjoying fresh summer salads, come September, home gardeners may relish the aromas of homemade vegetable soup or spaghetti sauce simmering on the stovetop, zucchini bread in the oven, and more. How delectable!

Whether planting flowers or crops, landscaping a yard, decorative containers or patio tomato pots, the experience of working the soil with one’s hands can be regarded as both grounding and gratifying.

No matter what the initiative, it helps to heed plant tags that describe light, watering, growth habit and fertilizing needs. However, how do you fend off critters including our locally abundant deer, rabbits, chipmunks and groundhogs? Look out the window: it’s a “wild kingdom” out there!

What about harmful insects and the possibility of plant disease, especially when growing conditions are unfavorable? Westshore denizens are all too aware that Mother Nature is a significant variable in any given season. The good news is that there are solutions to most every gardening challenge which is why those claiming not to have a green thumb should try, try again!  

Remember, the best way to enjoy summer splendor is to slow down and make the most of what the season has to offer and reap its benefits as you go. In so doing, you may just have a bloomin’ good time!

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 9:21 AM, 05.28.2014