Friday, June 19, 2009

The Dark Days of Rain

I was so excited in April and May - weeks of gorgeous sunny days, even getting up into the 80's a couple of days. We moved our bedroom downstairs to the sleeping porch two months ago, and it was so lovely to sleep with the windows open. My gardens were thriving; even the hydrangea that I left in a garbage bag for 5 days before transplanting managed to put out some flower buds (whoops - not a recommended practice.) And the rhododendron that I thought might curl up and die actually put out new leaves. And the little squeaky cockeyed optimist in my head chirped, "This summer will surely be a warm, sunny, summery season"...

And all that hope and good will and early planting for nothing - June is rainy and cold... it's been raining every day for a solid week!

The pea plants love the cool, wet weather, although I'd really like to see them start flowering. The pole bean seeds soaked up enough water to sprout vigorously, and the snapdragons and dianthus don't care what the weather does - they just keep blooming. (Mental note to buy more snapdragons next year!)

But the daisies have been beaten down, the lettuce is covered with dirt, and my cucumber seeds show no signs of sprouting. The marigolds look sad and sluggy, the squash is turning yellow (the leaves, not the fruit), and the rest of the garden looks lethargic at best. This is a demoralizing time. This is a time when I wonder how the local farmstand can possibly be starting to harvest their greenhouse tomatoes, and why I bother to grow in marginal soil with marginal sunlight when I can just go to the farmers' market... and plenty of other depressing thoughts that make me want to throw in the spade and spend my time in some more rewarding endeavor (model rockets? writing the great American novel?).

This past week is a test of my little internal optimist's patience because most plants don't grow quickly in cool weather. The daytime high's have been in the upper 50's or low 60's - I've worn sweaters every day this week. How can I expect my hot-weather tomatoes and peppers to do anything, if I'm shivering without a jacket? If I can just hold out long enough until the skies clear... then I'll have a moment of sheer bliss before I go out into the garden and find something else to complain about!

I don't think the daisies will ever stand straight again, but this is what they looked like before the rains came!

1 comment:

  1. Rachel,

    Great blog! I enjoy it as I am a beginner gardener too and I share your struggles and optimism. As you know, I vacationed in that rain so I had lots of time to practice being optimistic. When I got home I happily found many of my plants growing and some even flowering (asters, daylily, tiger lilies, yarrow, fireweed-we think, hostas, and the ever-blooming snapdragons, petunias, and geranium)along with several promising buds. Sadly, we also found that the deer had devestated some of our hostas, star lillies, and almost all of my sunflowers! boo! I have since begun the practice of spraying with a milk/water mixture as advised by a local expert. Anyway, thanks for sharing!