What a summer it's been here in Southern California so far. Heatwaves, wildfires, bugs. I, for one, am looking forward to the cooler, rainy months. In addition to his garden patrol and delivery dog duties, Hoku has taken it upon himself to mentally map the flow of air conditioning throughout the house and has determined that the most ideal nap spot is at the NE corner of the sofa. See exhibit A below. We have corroborated his findings with a peer review.
A few new additions to the house include a handmade raffia toy basket for Hoku (which we shared in a 'Meet The Maker' Story Takeover over on Wool And The Gang's Instagram) and also a wooden Shiba figurine from Japan (my official travel-sized Hoku companion). At home, he is the guardian of my plant propagation corner, where I've just added some pilea cuttings. The other succulents seem to be rooting nicely and I'm looking forward to transferring them into new homes soon. I guess that means I have to buy new planters.
Another new addition to the family room is Hoku's gray pouf. I had the pleasure of working with German brand MiaCara Design and I cannot say enough good things about their beautifully designed products. Not only does the round Scala pouf fit the aesthetic of our home perfectly, it is also impeccably made and the perfect height for sitting and lounging. So much so that family TV time has humans and pup alike racing to see who can claim it first.
As to be expected, the garden is ever evolving. In early June, we harvested our corn and cleared the stalks to expand the watermelon patch. The carrots were completely harvested by mid-July, becoming a part of tasty stews, soups and pup snacks. With an unseasonably mild early summer, our seedlings could not have asked for more ideal initial growing conditions and it was really looking to be a bountiful summer season.
Then, an unfortunate turn of events. While we away in Seattle over the Fourth of July holiday, an epic heatwave hit Southern California and temperatures soared to 116 in our area, sadly burning much of our once-thriving garden to a crisp. (This article from The LAist explains what these new temperature highs mean for the future of growing plants in LA and be warned, it is seriously depressing.) We returned home to discover that the leaves of our yellow pear tomato had been burnt to the point of disintegrating into dust in our hands, the growth of my favorite and usually very productive sun golds had been stunted, near ripe bell peppers shriveled, and about half of the little mandarin oranges growing on our tree (to be picked next Spring) had turned into little black raisins. I almost cried. But on the bright side, we were surprised to discover which plants had managed to survive, some seemingly unscathed! The eggplant, strawberries, indigo rose tomatoes and the watermelon were the definite winners here.
And of course, I must give credit where credit is due. Their survival is largely due to my mom, who had been watching Hoku at our house when the heatwave hit. She had the sense to give our non-shaded garden a little extra daily watering in the early morning and late afternoon and essentially saved it from certain apocalyptic destruction. She claims the green thumb skipped a generation - my grandma could grow literally anything! - but I honestly think she has secret plant whisperer potential.
Have you been following our Watermelon Watch story highlights on Instagram? This little one is now 6 lbs! I think I'll devote an entire post to watermelons soon because that is how emotionally invested I am in these guys.
In case you missed it, our patio space got a pretty big makeover. Check it out in this post here!
And lastly, we took a weekend trip to Palm Springs when my little sister stopped through LA for a few days while her stuff made its way from New York City to San Francisco. (She's officially moved in now, so I guess it's time to plan a trip up to SF!) I've always loved The Parker and was so thrilled to collaborate with them on this post.
How is your summer going so far? I'm looking forward to some serious home-bodying in August before some light weekend wedding travels in September.