Rudolf Harmsen 

The Warmest Summer


The warmest winter on record was followed by the earliest spring, and then to our chagrin by the driest, warmest summer. It meant we had to abandon some of the flower beds farthest from the house, and forget about the lawn. We focused on the container garden and the herb and vegetable garden. But even there, we had a hard time keeping up with watering.

The heat-loving flowers did very well, as did my heat-loving Jeri. Her hard work , including hours of dead-heading pansies, geraniums, petunias, hibiscus and all the other spectaculars paid off, keeping our garden a visual feast for us and visitors to enjoy. Jeri does get frustrated because of her visual handicap, and complains that she can't do as good a job as she wants to do, but I think the end result is usually close to perfect. Our summer in Glenburnie was cut short in late August when we left for New York to spend two months with the most beautiful 'flower' imaginable: our just born granddaughter Gwendolyn. Leif, who resided in our house during our absence, kept the garden going well into autumn, but only as far as his limited time allowed.

In early summer, our local newspaper published an article on lawn management, written by an “expert” who advised on how to get a flat green lawn without any insects and weeds (i.e. species of plants, other than a few selected lawn grasses), and without the heavy use of insecticides, herbicides and industrial fertilizers. He called such a lawn 'The Perfect Lawn'. I decided to write a piece for the paper suggesting an alternative, but realized that I needed more data on our lawn before I can challenge the 'perfect-lawn-man'. So, until the drought killed just about everything above ground, I identified each species of plant growing in our lawn, and will do so again as early as possible this coming spring and will claim that the best lawn in town has the highest bio-diversity. So far, I have just over 85 species of flowering plants, several as yet unidentified mosses, and lists of birds, mammals and invertebrates observed on the lawn. I will post the article on my website when I get around to write it later this year.

People in picture from l to r: Our daughter-in-law Stephanie Cozart (pregnant at the time), Jeri and our son Douglas.


  dolf@harmsen.net +1 613 544 3626