Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Breath of Fresh Air

We've had a couple of chilly days around here and I kind of like it.  After hellacious heat the other day, this was kind of refreshing.

And I love the fact that we got rain. We hadn't had rain in a while and  I was starting to get nervous.  I don't like lots of rain, but I realize it's natural to have rain once in a while and during the summer, we really need it every few weeks.

Last night, we had one of those SOAKING rains that must have really been soothing because I slept forever.  And enjoyed it!  It was cool, perfect for blankets.  The rain was making a lot of noise but I liked it.  And I knew it would be EXCELLENT for my gardens.

I'm always amazed at what just one rain storm can do for the garden.  Plants respond like they never do to hose water.  I love to walk around in the garden while it's still cool and everything is wet and I swear I can hear things growing.

Did you know that weeds are easier to pull when it's very wet?  I swear it's because they are busy soaking up water and release their super firm hold on the ground.

Around here, June is weird.  We can have lots of heat and lots of cold all at once.  Plants tend to start doing really well and then some cool nights come and they just sort of sit there, not doing much.  I often feel like they're stunted after weeks in the ground with little growth.   After the heat last week and the rain last night, here are some of my stars:

Corn and winter squash (butternut squash) in garden #2.  These are the best looking.  Some of the other corn plants are about as big as the day I put them in.  And the winter squash is really struggling!

Zucchini in garden #2 and a slug trap on the upper left.  Summer squash, which is really the same plant but with yellow squash are not doing anywhere near this well in garden #1.  Could it really be the sun, as I keep telling everyone???
My first cucumber flower in garden #1.  It seems really early for them to be flowering and it's the only cucumber that is.....  This is the only part of garden #1 that gets a lot of sun.  The rest is shaded a good part of the day by some trees.  And possibly some vehicles.....
Peas with cukes in front in garden #1.  Those are not green snakes, they are my drip irrigation hoses.  I don't have drip irrigation in garden #2 yet.
These swiss chard plants deserve a medal of honor.  The purple heart, or maybe it would be the green heart.  They have been through combat and back.  I grew them from seed, each in a little peat pellets, as happy as could be.  When I put them out in my garden, crows got to them and flipped them all over!  They popped the little peat pellets right up out of the ground!  They didn't eat the plants but it was hot that day and they almost dehydrated.  This happened at least two more times and I kept pushing them back in and finally they stopped flipping them.  They've come along really fast in the last week and I'm amazed I have any at all!  Those are not brown snakes, they are the cheaper version (free from a friend of k-ster's) of my drip irrigation.

Along with my gardens coming into their own, wild plants(that's what I call the plants around here that are older than me, that I did not plant, such as grapes, bittersweet, lilacs, forsythia, rosa rugosa and the list goes on) are showing their finery.  The rosa rugosas are blooming everywhere and smell great.  Some other kind of rose that I see everywhere here is also about to bloom.  They lilacs have come and gone.   Everything green is just exploding, especially since the rain.

But my favorite thing and I swear, one of the main reasons I never plan to move away is this flower here.  It is another kind of rose, very invasive and not planted by me.  These things are the most intoxicating flowers I have ever smelled.

I have severe smell sensitivities and if anyone were to dare wear this scent as a perfume, I would have to make them take a bath.  No one could ever sell me a candle scented like this.  But having them bloom up the driveway and now on the patio (because they are invasive) just makes my day.  Makes my year.  They are on the road and I can smell them when I go out to get my newspaper.

When I read trashy beach novels that take place in cottages by the sea, and they talk about flowers and smells, I always picture these and the rosa rugosas. 

I love the smell of flowers, but vegetables are more my thing, so I just let things grow naturally around here and see what happens. Except for daylillies.  I have a collection going and they don't let me down!  Every year, the non orange are getting more numerous!  I tire of the common orange daylily so someone keeps sharing other colors with me!   I do have potted plants on the patio and I do a lot with them, but they are easy and I've had them for years and years and they can't be killed.  Not even by rotten children who throw pencils, erasers, yogurt cups (??) and anything else into them when I bring them to school.

I decided to link this to skiptomylou because I have painstakingly made this garden, though I did not technically make the plants.  I am no garden expert, but I've been doing it for a long time and I have pretty decent results.  My theory is that ANYONE can have a garden if you have access to dirt and a hose!


  1. I'm so nervous about my first vegetable garden! We really were only able to plant a few weeks ago b/c the weather was so cold here!

    I also love sleeping in the rain. Nothing makes me happier than when it gets chilly at night in the summer after a day in the sun and you can curl up in a blanket.


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