ColumbineThe sun rose this morning at 3:15 am, and will set tomorrow morning at 12:33 for 21 hours 18 minutes of daylight. Noontime solar elevation (48° tomorrow) is declining by about a tenth of a degree per day, and we’re losing daylight at about 4 minutes a day.

Weather the past week has mostly been cooler, with some showers – highs are now in the low 70’s for the most part. Beautiful gardening weather, if it weren’t for the mosquitoes.

Yellow beans

Yellow beans, about ready for the first picking

I’m going to skip #Writemotivation this time – the Summer Arts Festival is coming up, and I’ve signed up (again) for creative writing. Class runs from 9 to 4:30 5 days a week for the last two weeks of July so even the blog’s going to be a problem, though I’m planning to give a short review of each day’s class and assignments. More on that July 12.

The garden is ahead of just about any previous year I can remember. I had Italian beans for supper Saturday – first time I’ve ever harvested beans in June, and I’d better plan on the first picking of the yellows tonight. Saturday’s pick was far more that I expected – close to half a pound from a 10’ row. (If you’re interested, these are bush beans, very early, Gina for the Italian type and Rocdor for the yellows. Both do very well for me in Alaska.) Yesterday was the first serious picking of chard and a huge lettuce. Strawberries are showing red, too – I might pick some for dessert. And the tomatoes have shown up at the farmers market.

The delphiniums are budded and well above head height – the tallest is about even with the 7’ lattice. Daylilies, columbine and spirea are in full bloom, as are most annuals. Even the few roses I can grow here (mostly rugosas and spinnosissimas) are budded or blooming.

I love summer in Alaska.

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