We’ve had a few rainy days lately, as my local readers can attest. Whenever there’s an hour or two of sunshine I feel compelled to race outside and pull some weeds or plant containers. The nice thing about rain is that it gives you a break from gardening (guilt-free!) and, of course, it’s good for the garden. You can imagine the plants slurping up all that moisture and getting taller by the hour.
Last August we installed a large awning over the deck, which allows me to sit outside in the rain and enjoy the smells and sights of the garden without getting wet. I wondered whether the expense was worth it at the time, but I’m really enjoying it now! I sat out there with my coffee this morning and watched the starlings fight over the bird feed at my squirrel-proof feeder. Only one starling can eat at a time; two together are too heavy and make the portals close. The starlings have figured this out and they chase each other off the feeder so they can grab a bite. Watching birds is fascinating, but I wish I wasn’t getting only starlings and the occasional grackle or sparrow! I’d love to hear if some of you are seeing other varieties of birds at your feeders or bird baths. (Note to self: set up bird bath!)
Though I can’t get out in the Tranquil Garden and do the chores that are waiting for me, I can plan what those chores will be. For instance, the front yard is a neglected disaster. Nobody driving by my house would dream that there was a dedicated gardener living here! The grass is scrabbly and sparse, and generously dotted with dandelions. I’d love to plant other groundcovers, but it requires tearing out the grass (easier said than done!), adding a few inches of soil, possibly building a small drystone wall at the front to keep the new soil in and then planting…a lot. The maple tree has been sucking the soil of its nutrients forever and I believe that’s why only dandelions thrive there.
Aside from that major project, which I may or may not do this year, I need to spread compost from my compost bin around the flower beds; mulch where the mulch is getting thin; pull out grass where it’s growing through some of the other groundcovers I’ve planted, particularly the phlox; add soil amendments for those plants who are fussy about acidity (azaleas, clematis, magnolia, etc); and fill the remaining containers. That is a partial list. As the sign in my yard says: “A garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever!”