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Friday, August 17, 2007

Face the Dryness

I've avoided posting views of my garden this summer that show how dry everything is. Today, however, I'm facing the dryness, showing the dryness, writing about the dryness, embracing the dryness. I'm allowed one post about the dryness, aren't I?

As you can see, I don't believe in coddling plants with all kinds of extra watering. This bed should be full and lush right now. There are Michaelmas daisies growing there that should be twice as tall as they are. There are coneflowers that should not be all wilted and spent. That honey locust tree at the end of the flower bed should not be dropping its leaves already. Only the sedum seems to be happy.

I am going to go out and "garden" tomorrow, but I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do.

Weed? I won't get too many roots, but it would probably improve the looks of things a bit even to chop off the foliage of the weeds.

Prune? There are still some shrubs that I normally like to prune back a bit in mid-summer, but I held off because I didn't want to put the plants under even more stress by pruning them when it was so dry out. I kept waiting for a time when it was going to rain. That time has so far not come. Now I think it is getting a bit too late for summer pruning. Oh, well, I can prune next summer.

Deadhead? Yes, I could cut back some of the spent, dried up flowers. There aren't many because of the drought, but that should help.

Harvest? There are some squash, tomatoes, and peppers I can pick and morning is a much better time to harvest than evenings after work. There are also some squash vines, bean plants, and corn stalks that I could clean up and throw into the compost bin because they've given in to the dryness and will produce no more. Oh, and don't forget, I have grapes to pick!

Mulch? I could go to the mulch store and get a load of mulch. There are areas that could use some extra mulch now. And since I have a truck, I can go to the mulch store for a cubic yard of mulch whenever I get the urge to do so. I might get the urge to do that tomorrow.

Dig a new flower bed? I'd need a jack hammer to dig right now it is so dry.

Water? Is that really going to do that much good at this point? And it is so boring to water by hand.

Rain Dance? Rain dances haven't helped so far, but I'm sure the neighbors have been entertained by my attempts. I might have to explore more advanced methods to get it to rain.

Droughts disrupt the normal rhythm of the garden. They are jarring to the plants, confusing for the gardener. We haven't had a drought like this for at least twenty years. If we don't get some rain soon, my garden chore options will be reduced to one choice: planning for next year.

Because you know what? Next year I can't imagine it being this dry again! Fall will be here soon, then winter, then it will be spring and the garden will be all new again and we can forget about this drought!

Tomorrow, I'm heading out to face the dryness, to conquer the drought!

16 comments:

Kylee said...

Carol, I hear you. Loud and clear. I feel like I've spent the entire summer walking around with the hose in my hand. And even then, there are things that have just not done as well as usual.

I've taken pictures of what makes me sad and unhappy and there will be a post about it. It's THAT time of year...

healingmagichands said...

I feel your pain. Until this evening, everything around here looked exactly the same. My normally lush and green gardens are struggling in the 100+ heat, with no rain since mid July. We have installed a lot of drip irrigation and I have timers on the faucets, which have SAVED my BACON all summer!

Anyway, we got rain at 5p.m. and more is falling. Tropical storm Erin managed to make it this far inland. Thank God for small favors.

We harvested the vineyard on Tuesday, check it out on today's post if you care to.

Alyssa said...

I'm sorry that so many people are still suffering from the drought and heat. I can be so depressing. But the plants you did show for Bloom Day look very good. (I didn't have time during the week for Bloom Day so I'll post what's left of my blooms this weekend.) On our family outing to the botanical garden I saw the mini hosta "Pandora's Box" growing there. By your pictures I had no idea it was so very tiny! Just precious. I must have it and I will find it!! Hang in there...

Colleen said...

Same here. Everything (other than the veggie garden) is just looking brown and dry, dry, dry. Even the purple coneflowers, which never fail to look great, look kind of crappy this year. This is the point when I start looking forward to next season, anyway, when the garden starts looking ragged and I can reflect on all the things I'll do differently next time around.

Carol said...

Kylee... We all know that water from the hose is never the same as rain water.

Healingmagichands... Good for you to get some rain. Send some to Indiana!

Alyssa... Yes, get "Pandora's Box", you will love having it, but then you will want more miniature hostas, it will be just the beginning. It will be like opening... pandora's box!

Colleen... That's what's great about gardening... next year!

Thanks all for the comments and sympathy,

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

eleanor said...

Aren't we supposed to get rain on Monday? We'll see

vonlafin said...

I think you have gotten a few more rain drops in Indy than we have here. I have actually kept up somewhat with watering, most beds just getting enough to keep them alive. I kind of like hand watering, because it gives me time to study the areas that I am watering, and decide what needs to be changed for next year. Keep dancing!

Pam/Digging said...

I sympathize with your drought worries. The rains this summer just pulled Texas out of a 10-year drought, the papers say. I hope neither of us sees a return of drought next summer.

Beth said...

Carol, this is too funny -- this morning I posted about WATER and waxed rhapsodic about watering by hand.... :) It's comforting to read the other comments commiserating about disappointments. I look at certain areas and think, 'This is IT?' I too am already looking forward to next year!

helaingmagichands said...

I am being inundated with "pornographic" catalogs featuring all the luscious beauties that you could be enjoying next spring in your narcissis bed. Drool. Too bad my discretionary garden money just got spent on a new water line, which of course I could not live without. I can't imagine not being able to get a drink or do laundry without hauling water in from the well. Meanwhile, I could win the lottery. Then I could act out my fantasy of sending in a catalog order blank marked "One of everything, please. Here is a $10,000 check, let me know if you need more. Oh, and could you please send a gardener along with that to help me plant? Thanks."

Nickie said...

I'll GLADDLY send you the rain we in NW indiana have been getting. Do you want that with or without the damaging winds and golfball sized hail? I'll gladly send you the national guardsmen for free if you take the whole package...

LostRoses said...

Carol, supplemental watering is a fact of life here. What, you don't like to walk around the yard watering things? Well, actually I don't either, at least not past the month of May.

And you had to mention pruning. I knew I should have gotten to that flowering quince a bit earlier (like 2 months ago). Here's to a drought-free next summer for you. For me, this is as good as it ever gets.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Carol, we got just a few sprinkles today, it seems that all of the little showers keep missing us.

I actually enjoy watering by hand, as long as it isn't too hot outside. It is kind of relaxing to me. I haven't been doing to much of that for the last few weeks though; I've been staying inside where it's cool.

It was lovely and cool today, but I had errands to run and couldn't work in the yard.

Carol said...

Eleanor... maybe we will get rain on Monday, I hope so!

Vonlafin... I think you might be right that you are drier than we are. You maybe need to try some rain dancing, too.

Pam/digging... I'm happy to hear your drought has ended. I can not imagine going on for 10 years like this.

Beth... I guess a lot of us have water and watering on our minds right now.

Healingmagichands... if you win the lottery, don't forget your Internet blogging buddies!

Nickie... I don't have to think about that offer. No thanks! I heard about all the rain up there in your part of the state.

LostRoses... I hearby stop whining about the lack of rain!

Robin's Nesting Place... It was lovely and cool today, but we didn't get any sprinkles at all. I did have some time to work in the garden which was nice.

Thanks all for the kind comments,
Carol at May Dreams Gardens

genuisscuffy said...

I am amazed that you have had such a dry summer - here in the uk we have had the opposite - rain, rain and more rain in fact some cities were actually flooded by 5-10 feet of water! My water butt in over-flowing! If I could send some out to you I would - the funny thing is last year we had a drought and everyone said to plant drought tolerant plants - huh!!!

Trey Pitsenberger said...

Its starting to look like some of our gardens here in California. Oh, I guess you don't want to hear that. We look forward to the winter rains, too. Sometimes here they don't come.

I hope the rains come soon for you since we are known for our dry landscapes and we don't need you competing in that category.