I spent two days in the rain at a music festival this weekend. My new sandals received a special spring initiation with a solid dunking in gooey mud. My "waterproof" parka proved to be not so much. My husband tried to convince me that our camp chairs made excellent umbrellas. But I didn't care.
While the downpours kept coming, I thought numerous times, "HELL YES. We just put in our summer garden."
Something in me has changed. I no longer scowl when I see those first drops of rain on the car windshield, when the first rumble of thunder clatters off in the distance, or I see "Chance of Rain" in the newspaper. I think I'm really a gardener now, y'all.
Part of it stems from sheer laziness. Last summer in early June, Scott and I played "Rock Paper Scissors" nearly every morning to see which loser had to haul over to our community garden plots for watering. (He actually prefers the alternate version "Cat Microwave Tinfoil" but I'll let him explain that game sometime.) A good soaking for our two plots can take 20 minutes or so by the time you unravel the watering hose and snake it through the garden to our waiting plants. And on a July morning in North Carolina it can easily be a nice humid 80 degrees by 7:30. It's enough to make one a teensy bit homicidal.
Luckily the forecast calls for rain every day this week. I hope our new plants from Renfrow's enjoy the deluge. On Friday (aside: you're really living it up when you and your hot date are gardening on a Friday night...) we put in two Mortgage Lifter and two Cherokee Purple tomato plants, along with two sweet and one Sungold cherry tomato plants. The leftover seed packet of A&C Pickling Cucumbers went into the carrot patch raised bed, to eventually be trellised. Two sweet red bell peppers went in next to a volunteer head of Bibb lettuce and the row of Swiss Chard from last spring that came back to life.
|A $30 box of joy.|
And oh yeah, there are three volunteer cucumber plants back there along with some baby tomato starts that I hope will pull through. It will be a hot jungle mess back there if it all grows accordingly but it's better to have a pantry of canned tomatoes and pickled cukes than a closet full of shoes.
At the top of our driveway is a nice 10x4 planter we made for herbs. To our sage, three Italian basil, two enormous oregano and measly cilantro plants I added chives, Thai Basil, parsley seed and dill seed. And along the front of the house are some chocolate mint and spearmint I impulsively planted last spring that are taking over. I may regret it, or I may just harvest for iced tea and mint juleps. I say let's develop a real thirst this summer.
Overall, I am thrilled. I never thought I'd be a gardener, but it's been one of the most satisfying things to do. I am sure I could get more scientific with it, but I prefer the "just try it" method.
A week ago, we were in Arizona, driving down from Flagstaff to Phoenix, where the high desert is so very brown and dry. So so brown. (Did I mention the brown-ness?) Like other places out west that I have visited (California in 2014), servers in the restaurants do not serve you water unless you ask for it. It's such a precious resource, and I understand that more as I travel and garden.
|Saguaro Cactus off I-17, North of Phoenix, AZ|
So if Mother Nature can do the honors without tinfoil beating microwave, then that's a pretty good deal.