Simply Summer 2007

The lushness of Huntington Gardens in California, May 2007

Driving through Lancaster County last week with my husband, the one word that came to my mind was “lush.” Ribbons of green plants covered the countryside, reflecting the early lushness of summer and the promise of more green to come. Amish farmers plowing their fields with mules, young Amish women with long dresses planting seeds, and trees blossoming with leaves all gave me the feeling of how each season has its beauty, and summer is the season for lush green plants everywhere.

The pictures we took of the fields did not do the countryside justice, so instead I will sprinkle this posting of another kind of lushness, that of Huntington Gardens in California. It is similar to Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia, whose pictures I featured in the May blog. Huntington GArdens is also a former estate of an industrial magnate (DuPont in PA and Huntington in CA), but the flowers and plants are very different because of the climate, especially the cacti, which you will see in the photos.

Summer is not only a time to enjoy the lushness of Mother Earth, but also a time to enjoy the slower pace that this season seems to bring. Since summertime, like the song, is “when the livin’ is easy,” I may post some recipes and ideas throughout the summer, instead of trying to get it all in one rush of writing. So you may want to check the website before and after your vacation. Then again, I may get lazy and do nothing until the end of August, so you can do that, as well! We can all use a little summer activity called “doin’ nothin'”.

Because warm weather does make me lazy, I like to cook less and eat more raw foods, so the recipes will be as uncooked or simply prepared as possible. Cooking less not only saves time and energy (heat from the stove and oven), but also may have health benefits, which I note in Kitchen Nutrition with Recipes. (Also, check the other categories for new articles or ones you missed.)

Whatever you do this summer, take time to enjoy the seasonal fruits and vegetables. My husband likes to barbeque when we have company, so I checked the Internet for some safer ways to BBQ, which I put under Health Flashes.

Take time to sit under a tree and sip some herbal lemonade and read a book or magazine. Let’s do what the kids say: Just “chill out!”

A tree in the cactus section of Huntington Gardens, May 2007
Looks like a giant Ponytail Plant or a tree from one of Dr. Seuss’ zany books, doesn’t it?

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