Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Something's Afoot

In gardening, as in life, we can count on the unexpected.  This year there's been a bunch of that going on:

Why did the daisies come up so early and so gloriously, only to suffer some kind of malady and develop brown stems from the ground up, collapse and die?  I thought it must be root rot, but can new growth arise from rotted roots?  I wouldn't think so, but it's happening.

Why is it that 25% of the little shrubs I've been nurturing along for the past two years just decide to go kaput?  All planted in the same area, same time.

Where the heck did our fabulous mass plantings of Blackeyed Susans go?

If I were a Master Gardener, or a degreed horticulturalist, I'd probably know the answers.  But this hobby gardener is stumped by these mysteries.  Since I don't know what happened, I've decided to blame it on the equally mysterious winter this area had last year.  First snow in December, followed by more, and more, and about 4' of snow literally SAT on all the gardens, and all the shrubs.  Sat on them, for months on end, flattening them to the ground. . . and I reckon when that snow melted, there was some subsurface drowning going on.  That snow cover also prevented the ground from freezing, which gives us umpteen more bugs than usual.

Without Mother Nature's challenges, I guess I'd be bored.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dear Diary,

Here I am, back in the saddle!  I've returned to my Maryland gardens.  Now, Mother Nature and I will be working hand in hand to get things growing again, wanting even bigger and better than the year before.

That's a tall order!  I look at the pictures I've taken when the gardens are in their midsummer glory, and then I look at the pictures I took two weeks ago (March 12th), and I confess I must renew my faith in myself as well as in Mother Nature.

Cleanup has begun, and is actually almost complete.  It's good to have my hands back in the dirt.  It's a creation thing.  It's good, clean dirt.

Welcome back, me!