I’ve been wondering how we will fare with the drought in large portion of the nation this year. In looking over a past article (2006-linked in the title) on this, I had one of my first “blogstyle” entries from the old 1999 website:
(Oct. 10 ’99) I could say something silly like “Time flies”, but the reason I have not updated the journal is due to the effect of the drought. Like the other living things around here, the dryness caused me to just lie low in the garden (actually I stayed in the house and attended more to the chldren and housework than usual -good for me). I spent the morning garden time visiting the essentials with the garden hose -just to barely keep the new things alive. I gave up on the rest-it was “live and let die”. Also, instead of real gardening I worked on changing these pages around and making some graphics. Illusions of work in internet gardening…. oh, dug up some plants for someone who promised to water it faithfully, and that was it!
I do have a theory on drought, my captive audience: I think periodic drought has a purpose in the lives of our gardens and in our own. If a plant has a decent root system, the dryness forces the roots to grow more deeply and strongly into the ground. So long as the plant survives the vicissitudes of this time, it emerges a better plant. Of course anything at all weak or the young must be attended to carefully, and if they can just be kept alive til the rain comes they should be fine. Details such as mulching and weeding make the difference for these plants. Drought also requires value judgements: if the tree is valuble and you cannot suffer losing it, share some precious water with it. Think a little and it is not too hard to apply some analogies to our relationships.
There always seem to be spiritual lessons residing in our gardens.
On the practical front, what could a dry time mean for my garden? The Farmers Almanac is forecasting drought conditions for my growing season this year- although it is hard to say how bad it might get. Usually if I suspect dry weather during a hot summer, I consolidate the watering chores. That means to replace the soaker hoses garbled by the septic tank work of a couple years ago, and working on xeriscaping a bit more. Placing new plants together to make sure they survive the season, so I don’t miss some out of the way spot that needs watering in the height of July heat.
I’ve been steadily doing these sorts of shortcuts for sometime now, in my efforts to reduce the maintenance , and the hope to recover and renovate the portions of the garden that suffered from neglect while I focused on extended ‘family matters’. If it is dry this year, then some of the transplanting might be better in the fall. I haven’t made up my mind about that yet.
* On a bright note, Handyman has consulted with me and we concluded the best place and foundation for the little greenhouse. I believe he will start in installation this week. I am one step closer to my garden goals.
** I wondered how Joanne has fared with the Georgia drought… and whether she still speaks French as fluently as before (had practice? …and um, don’t look in my direction, though; I only think of the French when I am trying to speak Spanish or when I tried Portuguese in Brazil) Otherwise it won’t come up into the foreparts of my brain at all!
It is only enough to torment my poor retention qualities. If my brain were a soil type I would be sandy. -There is free association for you:)