Thursday, May 7, 2009


My first spring at this campground began on March 15, 2007. When I arrived from warm humid southwest Louisiana, it was COLD up here (Maryland) but I needed to get to work right away. There were a good three to four inches of leaves that obliterated all of the rock gardens, and those leaves needed to be removed. Because of all the plants and shrubs, it had to be done mostly by hand. As I worked (and it took a good three weeks) I noticed I was trampling on the new shoots under the leaves, of the season's first arrivals: the tulips and daffodils and crocuses and irises. I cringed every time I uncovered one of my victims! It all got done, though, and we had a great "crop" of flowers once the mountains of leaves were removed. It was a great and exciting first year at my new job of gardener/landscaper.

The following year I decided to wait until April 1st to arrive (I was remembering how cold it was the previous year and I was chicken). I arrived to find a young man had been hired to get the leaves out of the gardens, and he'd used a rake; had raked the gardens SO vigorously that some of the new young plants had been removed along with the leaves. Ah, well, life goes on, doesn't it. This particular spring was cold for a long, long time and it seemed forever before things poked their heads through the ground. Our planting season was slighty delayed due to the late-arriving spring, but the weather turned suddenly HOT and we really scurried to get new planting done quickly. Remembering how much time I'd spent watering during the last summer's drought, I laid soaker hoses in all the large gardens so that I could spend my time doing other things while the gardens were being watered. It worked well.

THIS year I returned in mid-March, wanting to be the one to do the garden cleanup. Yes, it was cold but I was being brave, and gardens were cleaned up without disturbing any plants. No trampling this year! However: the new experience is the rain! It's like living in a rain forest, I think. The ground has been thoroughly soaked down to about China. I have several new gardens in the works and I'm eager to build up the soil and get things planted in them, but the soil right now is like mud soup. No sooner does it begin to dry out and we get another four-hour deluge or all-day-and-night soaking steady rain. Temps have been cool, too -- good for tulips lasting a longer time than usual (until we had four days of freakish July weather which ended the tulip season), the nurseries have been slow in putting out their inventory due to the cool and wet, and we're behind schedule in creating our forty or so container gardens and almost as many hanging baskets. I'm just hoping for an extended spring so we can get all the work done before the really hot weather arrives for good.

Gee, I wonder what will be new and different NEXT spring!

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