Sunday, September 1, 2013

Yes, I'm Ready

On first read, I disagreed with Meghan Shinn, opining in this month's Horticulture Magazine that it was time for the gardening season to end.  The young and beautiful Ms. Shinn said she was tired of it all and that the garden had run its course.  I disagreed initially because I wasn't sure I was ready yet for the end of the roses, for the finish line of the grasses and asters.

But Meghan's editorial did come during a week of 100+ temperatures here in Kansas.  And the drought is back in full force and I'm beginning to think about carrying water to young plants and I just don't want to do it.  I'm not young and energetic like the fresh-faced Ms. Shinn, I'm old and achy, tired of summer and tired of weeds and tired of endless cantaloupe that need picking.

Well, maybe I'm not quite that washed up, but as I mowed yesterday, I did decide that I should welcome the wisdom of Horticulture's current editor, not question it.  Perhaps it was dusty, drought-stressed grass, unmowed for two weeks and sprouting unsightly seedheads as the single lure for me to the mower.  Perchance it was the sight of yet another rain cloud passing around me to the North, my dessicated and weary soul fruitlessly begging for relief.  Maybe it was the incredible harvest of crabgrass thumbing its nose at me from the edges of all my garden beds.  Perhaps it was the skinny, unattractive legs of some of the less-blackspot-resistant members of the rose troupe that were spoiling my mood.  The hordes of grasshoppers didn't help, hopping madly on me in the thousands as I mowed, and their efforts to advance my discomfort were aided by biting flies and large nearly-invisible spider webs.  Maybe it was just the heat.

My garden is still attractive, I think, although it has morphed into a white garden and I'm not that fond of monochromatic gardens.  As you can see from the picture above, and see better if you click on the picture, the overall garden is dominated by the white panicled Hydrangea to the left and the tall central column of white Sweet Autumn Clematis, and the Boltonia sp. blob amid the ornamental grass bed and the several white or near white Hibiscus syriacus scattered around the beds.  Add in a few tall white-edged "Snow-in-Summer" milkweeds that I purposely allowed to survive, the remnant blooms of a white 'Navaho' crapemyrtle, and a few pale pinks of various roses like 'Freckles' and 'Amiga Mia', and there's entirely too much white drowning out the more colored roses and Rose of Sharon.  Even my 'Sally Holmes', normally a decrepit specimen that I somehow allow to keep photosynthesizing against my better judgment, has decided to add an unusual number of blossoms to the mix.

After reflection, I think Ms. Shinn is right.  I'm not built for a California or Hawaii climate, with year round weeds and flowers.  I'm a child of the four-seasoned Midwest, always ready to move along with the flow of the seasons.  I'm ready for the first frosts to bring on the end of mowing the relentless prairie grass.  I'm ready for the leaves to turn and drop, ready for the rush to gather the last perfect roses before they are covered by snow.  I'm ready again to dream of those first tender green sprouts of Spring, the world borne anew and damp and fresh.

 

9 comments:

  1. I feel the exact same way. The 15" of rain was good while it lasted, however. I think 13" of it ran off, reminded me of Central Texas rains.

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    1. We only got six, most of which soaked in, but that was a month ago and the ground is as dry and cracked as Death Valley.

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  2. I live in Florida and we have year round gardening as well. I do wish sometimes for a nice blanket of snow to cover up everything until next Spring.

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    1. I know about Florida (parents have a winter home there), but down there I couldn't do any of the gardening I do here. I suppose I could get into orchids, though.

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  3. You took that photo with your new-fangled iPhone, didn't you? I have the iPhone 4, but the hubby has a 5, so I think I'm going to go play with his phone later today ... not that there's anything as awesome as your garden to photograph here, you understand.

    This has been a weird summer for us, with more-than-ample rain and generally-mild temperatures. The garden is an unholy mess because of it, with weeds as high as my shoulders. Grass mowing? It's a perpetual activity this summer.

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    1. Yes, both were with the I-5. It doesn't do as good as my Canon, but its a sight better than my old cheap pocket Nikon and it is always on me. One thing, Connie, is that it's terrible with red roses....poor focus, muddies the color, etc. But it's great on whites, light pinks, greens and yellows. I took a picture of Chorale yesterday that's to die for.

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  4. Every summer I think I want the garden season to go on forever and then August happens. It's a buzz-kill for sure. Here in Texas I just mope through August and September and look forward to October when I start moving things around and planning next year's blooms.

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  5. I can feel where you're coming from. As much as we enjoy gardening, we won't be able to do it all-year round, especially if you live somewhere with a four-season climate. However, I think you can still make your garden bloom even more even if the spring season’s gone; just do the proper trimming so that your plants will be ready when the time is right.

    Melva @MPDT.com.au

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