Having leapt so precipitously into full-on summer weather, the gardens have gotten short shrift compared to their usual pampering. My dad was raised on a farm in the Netherlands and spents most of every average day and ALWAYS at least an hour even on busy, eventful days, puttering in his garden. He does love his growing things and his big heartbreak this season was that the lattice-work arbor he built over forty years ago, and beside which grew roses from my great-grandparents' garden, didn't weather this winter. It has finally gone the way of all things wood and rotted to the point of hazard, necessitating its removal. It's just a plain, white-painted wood structure, but it always designated the yard "zones" for me. Between the house and the arbor was playland - tag, tree climbing, sprinklers, etc., were all fair games in the kid zone. Beyond the arbor was Dad's Back Forty - if you went back there, tread lightly, touch nothing, break no branches and pick no flowers! Over the years he's built tall fences at the back of the property, heightened the chicken wire around the kitchen garden and hung glittering bits to discourage the vermin, but the darn deer are still his biggest consumer - literally! We back onto protected parkland and enjoy deer, foxes, moles, ground hogs, feral cats, squirrels of umpteen varieties, blue heron, hawks, and myriad songbirds. They all sample from my father's garden bounty and entertain us in every season. Here's to our happy natural neighbours!