May 12th Thoughts

May 12, 2011 | 1 comment

Struggling in May

     Today would have been my dad’s 102nd birthday.  Hard to believe!  Even though he’s been gone nearly twenty years now, it seems as though the day needs acknowledgement.
     Often, the rhododendrons he planted along the east fence – Jean Maries – are in full bloom by now which, he would say, is all the celebration he needed.  That and chocolate cake!  But this year, the Jean Maries are just beginning to pop out.  They are said to be the most “sun hardy” of all the rhododendrons.  Perhaps, conversely, they’d just as soon stay in bud until our gray northwest skies let the sun through for more than a day at a time.
     Someone told me that this year was the wettest March and the coldest April on record.  Or was it the other way around?  Whichever way, it has played havoc with our garden here in Oysterville.
     Take the potatoes…  Conventional wisdom is that they can go in on St. Patrick’s day.  Ours went in two or three weeks after that and they are just now starting to show themselves.  And not all of them, at that.
      Our carefully nurtured cucumber, bean, and pea starts – planted from seed and babied forth in our nursery – died the minute we put them in the garden.  The squash plants are struggling and Nyel has put little plastic ‘hats’ (actually, the bottoms of vodka and tonic bottles) over each one, but he’s not hopeful.
     The lettuce plants we got from a local nursery drowned and withered and we have replanted.  And the arugula starts immediately bolted.  Go figure!  As for the cover crop of clover that went into one of the raised beds – the sparrows made short work of the first planting.  The second one is trying valiantly, but it’s spotty.
     Nyel seems to think that being a one-armed gardener this year, and a left-handed one at that, is part of the problem.  I’m blaming the weather.  Mostly, I’m looking forward to getting that community greenhouse project underway again.  I think it’s high time to grow under glass here in Oysterville!

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Regardless of your age, the loss of a parent makes one feel like an orphan and it is a wound that never entirely heals. My solve was to create a garden for my father and his brothers. I can go there and think of all of them and how I wish I was still 12 and everyone I loved still alive.

    As to the weather, it really has been wet and cold. I’m a mossback who gets ichy if it doesn’t rain at least every two weeks, but this is getting ridiculous and Dave’s trying to do upgrades to the house! I just hope that the sun we had today will last a few days so he and Mychael can finish!!


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