After a couple of weeks of drought keeping the garden plants down, there’s nothing like a rainy day to perk their spirits up. Just before sunset, a few hours after the rain stopped and the sky had cleared, I went for a walk in the garden and was amazed to see how quickly everything had responded with rejuvenated life-energy and new growth.
And, yes, that includes weeds as well as veggie plants. And because after a rain is the best time to pull and hoe weeds, that amounts to a busy day today. But a day of rain yesterday virtually saved the garden, and that’s a very good thing.
Plants have a way of telling you how they’re feeling, and I think the words I kept hearing were relief, pleasure and, obviously, now, let’s get growing. Everywhere, in every row, and in that splendid patch of volunteer pumpkins there had already been noticeable growth, and a sense the life force had been bolstered by a timely gift from the clouds.
The Yukon Gold potato plants that the day before had looked rather lean now had a proud, fulsome appearance. Rows of beans already showed a surge of new-growth leaves.
I look forward to enlisting the help of two visiting granddaughters, Asia and Allie. Ah, I can hear it now: “Is this a weed, Grandpa?”
Weeds are plants too, and tough customers for the most part, deserving of grudging respect. But, yes, that’s a weed, my dears.
Oh, and speaking of deer, they must know when I’ve gone to bed, because they – or something – has been showing up during the night to forage on my precious few rows of peas. They’re even into the beets, nipping off the edible reddish greens. Hanging little bags of mothballs here and there on pea-stakes doesn’t seem to have done a lot of good. (An old gardener – about my age – told me that would deter deer.) Maybe I’ll try a few more.
I have a “live and let live” attitude toward the local wildlife – deer, coyotes, black bear, and an abundance of robins this year. I let a big patch of milkweed in the front field have its way for the sake of the Monarchs. But I’ll have to do something about the deer to keep them out of the garden. Or just grow things they don’t like – potatoes, for example.
No wonder so many people love gardening: it’s a way-of-life, full of challenges as well as joy and satisfaction.