Ma Vie En Rose: So Long To The Garden And This Alaska Summer

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Lily collection. Fairbanks, Alaska. July 2018. Photo by JAH.

 

Allow me a second of nostalgia for the end of summer. I’m attempting to summarize how the short season unveiled itself, and in all truthfulness—it’s all a bit of blur.

Alaskans are known to recall their memories by the weather of the season. For example, I can recall summers when we had fires all throughout the state, and the fact that I’d leave the office and I’d find ashes on the windshield of my car. In addition to the gray “snow”—there was the sweltering heat that caused clothes to cling on to the body as if it was attempting to protect the mind from going insane. I can still remember vividly when the air quality warnings the borough sent out relentless messages to “please stay indoors if you are suffering from the following (insert every kind of issue here)….”

This summer for me was filled with great clarity, and also a blurriness that I can’t quite explain. Perhaps, it’s the reminder of how quickly three months can go by or perhaps, it was because it was one of the first summers where we travelled out of state (every Fairbanksan knows to avoid traveling out of state during the summer because it is a magnificent time of the year).

Nevertheless, it was a summer where I felt compelled to remember every single bit, and also sought to define how different my summers have become from years’ past. It was a summer filled with in-depth self-reflection, and continuing profound thirst for becoming educated in the garden. I tell myself that every year—I now am fully convinced that I am going to forever be a student of the Green Thumb Society. I have no ambition to join the many hardcore gardeners and farmers who found their true calling within the earth. Perhaps, it’s because I continue to blindly be devoted to my twice a-week manicures, and my VIB status at Sephora. It could also be that I have a tendency to be a bit otiose of fully committing myself to a life filled with compost and garden gloves.

But, still I keep at it–the gardening bit–manicured, and wearing Fenty Beauty lipstick while digging in the garden boxes, and not noticing that I may have had dirt on my highlighted cheekbones.

I’ve written about how the peonies returned with a magnificent vengeance of being the first to show off their glory.  The garden boxes in the backyard, on the other hand, are the ones who bid their time until harvesting season came upon us.

I never need to worry should my garden harvest may come up short and not according to plan because my profound love for Crystal Risse of Risse’s Greenhouse, or Gretchen and Janlee of Basically Basil, or Joanie from Jenny’s Farms—who are the Alaskan Green Goddesses always come to the rescue with their own harvested herbs and vegetables at the Farmers’ Market.

Truth be told, the girl from San Francisco in me will continue to fight for self-preservation, so I highly doubt that I will ever retire permanently in crocs, garden shears, garden gloves, and a huge garden hat.

Although as I write this, I can hear my Lola Fe’s (who was The Filipina Green Goddess) voice telling me, “Jeng, never say never.”

With that in mind, it was a beautiful summer for a garden; one that I will keep in my memory for a long time.

The proof is in the garden…

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Out of control. Garden box. August 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Sugar Snap peas galore. July 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Early snaps. Sugar snap peas. July 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Mr. Singh’s Chives’ yearly presentation. June 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Berries and cream mint in the herb garden. July 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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The little purple artichoke that could. July 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Cucumber from Risse Greenhouse. June 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Lily of the Valley, age 2. June 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Potato flower buds. August 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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One of the many gigantic zucchinis. August 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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The Jen Singh crabapple tree with its jeweled rubies. September 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Crabapple glory. September 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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A sunflower in the morning. August 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

The Harvest..

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Sunflower harvest. August 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Farmers’ Market haul. August 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Plumped up sugar snap peas out of control. August 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Shelling peas is really therapeutic. Peas and a herb bouquet. July 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska.

 

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The husband and his foodsaver saved the peas. July 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska.

 

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Fall harvest: herbs, artichokes, and crabapples. September 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Potato surfacing. September 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Ruby Red Potatoes. Quite literally harvested under the rain. September 2018. Fairbanks, AK. Photo by JAH.

 

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Ruby red Potatoes. September 2018. Fairbanks, AK. Photo by JAH.

 

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First harvest. August 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

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Nasturtium flowers to be eaten in a salad. September 2018. Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by JAH.

 

How we know Fall is around the corner… when the “Fairy houses” show up..

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Our backyard used to be a mushroom field home to many fairies. September 2018. Photo by JAH. Fairbanks, Alaska.

 

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