August is always sort of bittersweet for me, because even though summer doesn't officially end until late September, this is the month when it starts to pack its bags. The temperatures are still high, and the sun continues to shine warm and bright, but it's the last full month of my favorite season of the year. I think I still subconsciously associate August with going back to school and summertime winding down, even though it's been a looong time since I was a student. And I'm of the opinion that saying goodbye to summer is a sad thing to have to do. As wonderfully lovely as autumn breezes and colorful leaves are here in the midwest, I can never quite shake the fact that fall is the gateway to winter. Those of you who are regular readers know all too well that winter is an evil beast in my eyes, and most who have experienced enough of them in Chicago will likely agree.
So this, my friends, is why I find August to be bittersweet. I still get to experience the awesomeness that is summer, but I know I'll have to see it end fairly soon. And for this reason, I'm extra grateful this month for every drop of sunshine that peeks through the clouds, every summery cocktail sipped outside, every late sunset, every buzzing bumblebee, every gauzy sundress, and every green, growing plant in our garden. I think more than any of the other stereotypical symbols of summer to which I (desperately) cling in this month, it's our garden for which I'm most grateful. It's reassuring, in a way, to know that there will still be new veggies that ripen and new flowers that will bloom in August. Summer's not quite over yet. There is still a little more time to grow.
This is only the second year we've had our garden, but it's become an important emblem of summer for me. I don't think you could have ever convinced us two years ago that we'd be utilizing every inch of free space in our tiny "yard" for a full-on urban container garden, but that's exactly what happened. It came about by accident - the result of an impulse buy and a $1 basil seed kit - and somehow turned into a major part of our summertime experience. I explained more about why and how it was started in a post I did back in May (you can read it here), but the jist is that we currently have all sorts of vegetables, herbs, and flowers growing in containers and small raised beds that Robbie built.
Speaking of Robbie, I have to veer off topic for a second and give a shout out to my husband, for real. He, in fact, is the reason behind all of the fresh pesto and homegrown salsa and Caprese salads and sautéed summer squash we've enjoyed this summer. When the band is off the road, he works really freaking hard in that garden, and then again in the kitchen to turn our harvests into some seriously awesome food. My role has been mostly to maintain things when he's away and to taste test the goodness he whips up onces the veggies and herbs are ripe enough to eat. So thank you babe, if you're reading this (he sometimes does). You are officially my summertime hero.
So there you have it, my darling, bittersweet August - my tribute to you through loving words and pictures of the little garden that you will nurture for the next few weeks. I am officially embracing you with open arms. I know I've worked a lot this summer, but you inspire me to step away and spend more time outside, soaking up these final days of the season that makes me feel most alive. I promise not to take you for granted.
P.S. On the topic of it being a brand new month, I hope you'll take a minute or two to visit August's new and returning sponsors by clicking on those pretty ads hanging out over there in the right sidebar. Sponsors are huge part of the reason Bubby and Bean continues to exist and grow, so just as I'm grateful for August, I'm very grateful for these incredible shops and blogs. I've really fallen in love with them over the past few days, and I know you guys will too. (If you're viewing this in a reader, just click here to see their goodness for yourself.)