Sunday, May 29, 2016
Ladies and gentlemen, grab your pruners
It's the Indy 500 race, of course, and it always takes place on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
No matter where you are in the city, you can't help but see signs of this big sporting event. Everywhere you go, there are black and white checkered race flags, banners proclaiming "Welcome Race Fans", and souvenirs for sale.
Memorial Day weekend, whether it is early or late as it is this year, is also a big weekend in my garden. It's when spring ends and summer begins. It's when I want to have all the spring planting finished.
It all starts the minute they sing "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the race. I always tune in to the radio to hear it live. That's the official start of summer here and I don't want to miss it.
Then when they announce "Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines" at the start of the race, all I hear is "Gardeners, start your pruning". It's time now to cut back fall bloomers like goldenrod, asters, and mums. This will encourge them to grow more lateral shoots and more flower buds for more fall blooms. I usually cut them back to about half their height.
Just like the drivers, I take lots of pit stops in my garden, but they last longer than those during the race I am liberal with pit stops for drinks, snacks, and a bit of rest between the various gardening activities.
After today's race around the garden, thing should slow up a bit and I'll spend the summer pottering about, tweaking the garden as I go. I look forward to it after this race of May, this race to get everything planted up and ready for summer.