I have really been enjoying Etherknitter's garden pictures. She is an accomplished garden photographer (which, keep in mind as you keep reading, I am not) and her garden is beautiful. But I find I am also living a bit vicariously through her, because this is what I have to look at when I get home:
No rain. No rain since July 9th. Both of the rain barrels are dry and the town has enacted a watering ban. Even our roadside weeds are dying. I have had to make choices.
Choices are rarely easy, but let me give you a little historical background: when I bought the house 8 years ago, it came with a brand-new, state-of-the-art septic system that necessitated the removal of 50+ trees. City girl that I was, it did not occur to me that tree removal meant barren loam, which is what greeted me on moving day. So I roughed out a garden area, spread grass seed on the rest and stood there with a hose, twice a day, willing the grass seed to take. Eventually it did (along with the weeds), and over the next seven years I planted 3 flower beds, 3 raised vegetable beds, and a hedge.
It's never been much of a hedge. It was always a poor man's hedge, 25 privet twigs from Burpee for $25, which I planted and the now-fiance promptly mowed over. So I planted 25 more privet sticks and roped them off with caution tape (the neighbors love us, can you tell?). In the ensuing years, several of those privets have failed to thrive, and have been replaced with discarded shrubs (I work for a landscaper) and some store-bought shrubs.
But now, no rain. The privets are dropping their leaves and turning brown. I'm relatively certain they'll come back next year, I hope. And luckily for me, about a week ago I decided to completely overhaul the flower beds next summer, so much of what is there may be yanked out next year anyway.
I have chosen to water the vegetable beds--which are growing at a truly frightening rate (we have 16 tomato plants. No one needs 16 tomato plants!), any shrubs newly planted this spring, and the delphinium, hollyhock, lupine and pumpkin seedlings in the front garden. Occasionally, I water the privets. The rest of is turning brown, except the yucca, which is thriving:
Look at that new growth! Desert plant.
And why no rain? It seems some meteorologist is sticking pins in a voodoo map of my little town. The communities to the north and south of us have had rain. One day I was driving down Route 3 in a downpour, but the minute I crossed the town line the rain stopped. A friend of mine was watching the radar StormTrack on the TV and watched the clouds approach our town, and then split to the north and south. It is clear that someone has put a curse on us.
So please send happy rain thoughts our way, and keep those garden pictures coming!