Rain

Not a good time for the <br>windshield wipers to go on the blink (again).
Not a good time for the
windshield wipers to go on the blink.

I’m tired of rain.

Oh sure, it was all good and fine up to a point, but not now. Not in spring. Not when I have gardening to do. Not when I need electricity.

I love summer storms – the ones that roll in about mid-July and punctuate my birthday month of August.

[Note: I’m turning 50 this year and am oddly excited about it. I haven’t set up a gift registry (yet?), so feel free to ask me what I want. ]

In a proper summer storm (July and August), I’m quite content to sit somewhere and watch the pyrotechnics in the sky. I have fond memories of Chef Boy ‘R Mine and I sitting on the floor looking out the glass doors and shouting “Boom in the sky!” when the thunder and lightening rolled. He was just 2 and initially fearful of the storm – I decided to make it fun for him and fun we had. There’s no sound in the world better than baby giggles.

Storms in May are another matter entirely. I can garden in the rain, if I have to, and I’ve had to. But now, we’re at that point where I’d like to sit out there and admire my handiwork. It’s one thing to work in the rain, but to just sit out there like a garden statue while getting soaked seems a little too eccentric even for me.  Especially when it’s not just rain, but torrents – the white water version of rain. 

[Note:  By the way, I’d like a garden Buddha for my birthday.  I’ll settle for a head, but I’d be tickled with a roly poly seated Buddha.]

Candlelight Blues
Candlelight Blues

It seems like it’s rained forever. Coming off the Winter from Hell, I am sick-to-death of stuff that makes my power go out.  So, if I can’t sit in the garden at my table with the fabulous floral centerpiece, I’d like to be here, cruising the web, maybe watch a movie and catch up with friends on Skype. Can’t do that either.   It would be nice to be able to cook dinner.  Baths by candlelight are sensuous and wonderful (even alone), but you can only sit in the bathtub for so long. 

Candlelight is not quite as romantic alone.

I can’t do laundry which has piled up to the ceiling during the great 2009 Gardenpalooza. Can’t vacuum. The batteries in my Itty Bitty Book Light have died. I’m getting cranky. What’s worse is that the power comes and goes. Just when I think it’s come back on, I lose it again. Living in a clearing in the middle of a forest, I’ve learned the inevitability of power outages during any kind of inclement weather, but that on/off stuff wears on my nerves.

Weather Dude says this pattern could last through the weekend. I’m not sure how many days in a row we’ve had rain, officially, but it seems like 971. I’ve had enough. I’m positively pruney (and not from marathon baths).

I am tired of rain. Really. Now, the laptop battery is dying (goodbye Freecell!). I’ll post this when the power comes back on for good or if it stays on long enough to do so.

Sigh.

2009 Gardenpalooza (update)

Mmmmmmmmmmm....I'm in love (again).
Mmmmmmmmmmm….I’m in love (again).

Well, my crushes are coming fast and furious. First it was the daffodils then the redbud and mock orange, not to mention the irises, daisies, peony, and petunias. Being a Poor Person of Considerable Poverty ™, it is damned inconvenient to have this kind of energy for – and commitment to – the garden without enough money to do it right. I’m making do with annuals, for the most part, and some seed.

The latest crush is the dahlia. I am just knocked out by this beauty. She’s not in the ground yet due to the monsoon season that is upon us.

wave petunias
wave petunias

I go to the hardware store for something like a bag of potting soil and come home with a car full of plants. I’ve indulged in lobelia, gerbera daisies, petunias, dusty miller,  moss roses, a rose bush, clematis, stuff I don’t know the name of, and some kick-ass geraniums. I’ve never been much fond of geraniums, but those floral geneticists are getting pretty good with them.  They’re much more aesthetically pleasing these days.

I completely lost all sense of fiscal responsibility and came home with wisteria on Monday. The blooms have come and gone, but next year – oh my, next year!

retaining wall bed
retaining wall bed

Against all odds and contrary to my personal history, I’ve managed to get both morning glory and moonflower seeds to germinate. I’m hesitant to take things for granted given that I’ve had no luck with either for 20 years, but I will be much pleased if they do grow and thrive.

Trudy, the little brat, is still digging up my one bed. There must be chipmunks nesting near by. We are getting ready to come to blows if she doesn’t begin seeing things my way.

I didn’t get around to planting anything until Monday, other than some hostas and lily-of-the-valley, due to bed preparation. On Saturday and Sunday, I broke ground in some of the nastiest hard clay and gravel any of y’all have ever seen. Monday morning, I ripped out the carpet roses and sloppily put them in a shady bed I won’t get to filling until next year. At this stage, I don’t care if they die. I de-leafed, cleaned up debris, washed the lawn furniture, and evicted some of the wasp nests.

Bone weary, I was.

rain on the roses

rain on the roses

Those of us around here know that there have been waves of downpours. Having lived in the tropics, I know a monsoon when I see one. Truly, it’s been amazing. Having done all that work, I was determined to get stuff in the ground.

I’ve been gardening in the rain. As I sit here typing this, I have mud-splattered arms, oak pollen in my hair, and my jeans aren’t even recognizable as denim. I’m filthy and very happy.

Still, I have toted timbers in the rain, I have dragged 10 bags of topsoil out of my car in the rain, I planted a flat of begonias and another of petunias and yet another of lobelia in the rain.

garden gate
garden gate

I filled baskets with moss roses in the rain and have two to go, plus I got some that were already filled. I hung humming bird feeders and Boston ferns in the rain. I put down grass seed. I planted two creeping junipers in the rain.  And I have daisies, Siberian irises, balloon flowers, columbine, wild delphinium, ivy and vinca to transplant. Besides all that, I have pots of this and that to get in the ground after I level the landscape timbers. This rain needs to stop – there’s only so much I can do in rain storms so fierce I’m soaked to the skin in seconds. Naked gardening can be fun, but it’s not quite warm enough for that – yet.

Wild Delphinium
wild delphinium

After 4 years of back breaking work punctuated by months of inertia, my dream of a white garden (with punches of blue and purple) is being realized. Having viewed planning as anathema for most of my life, I’m starting to see the merits. If you have goals and plan them out, it feels pretty damn good when they begin to unfold. (It also makes decisions at the nursery easier.) There’s still a lot to do.

The white garden will be years in the making.

In other news, the cottage garden is as yet untouched. I’m hoping to be finished with this year’s stuff for the white garden by this weekend – at which time, I will be begin ripping out wild rose, honeysuckle, oak saplings, bind weed, and the what-was-I-thinking loosestrife.

I hope this passion continues to burn. Gardening used to be my bliss, my therapist, my hobby, and my exercise. I’m not sure why I got so completely away from it, but I did. (And I’m paying for those years of neglect in so many different ways.)

2009 Gardenpalooza is underway. Woo Hoo!

[Note:  Garden Rant, Sustainable Gardening and The Gardener Guy are three of my favorite gardening sites.  If you check them out, be prepared to lose a lot of time.]