I made coffee this morning, not tea. I knew I would have to steel my nerves a little for the inspection laying ahead of me.
Every year, I take a one month vacation at the worst time possible. For my garden, I mean. I go home. It is such a privilege to me that I am able to return to my roots for a month every year, that I will not miss it, no matter how much the tomatoes and roses need me. So, as I was wandering in other peoples gardens, enjoyed my mothers cooking and lazed about on the beach, the garden falls into despair. And also into the most wonderful jungle.
My husband and friends try to help make it live and I like to think it makes them appreciate the work that goes into those vegetables and flowers a little more. Usually there job is watering, keeping the plants going until I return to weed and prop and plapper. This year was different. With unprecedented rainfall throughout most of my absence, the backyard has truly exploded into green – mostly weeds. An army of them. The tomatoes handled the constant downpour very poorly, as is their nature. So did the roses, most of them striped off their leaves with black-spot ridden stems. The temperatures stayed low for our part of the world – the okra, squash and peppers still small little guys instead of the towering growth they usually are.
But the green beans loved it. So did the pumpkins and the popcorn. The dahlias and zinnias are blooming all over the garden, the shrubs all grew 3 feet, it feels. I think, we gardeners often miss out on the glory of seeing the garden with new eyes. We are there every day, watching the flowers grow and the vegetables form – a slow process. Now I got to see it all again for the first time. Exploring what is new in my own garden.
Speaking of new, my neighbor decided to use my absence to build his version of the Berlin Wall and trample all adjacent flower beds. It fits his personality to be so sneaky about it, instead of just making it a joined project. But, so he is, and luckily, walls not only keep people out, they also keep people inside of them. As I wrote in the past, there is always a plant to cover it. It will be an adventure.
It is time to rid the garden of the weeds and the overgrowth, trim and prop and plapper again. It will be work but also full of surprises. And while I am busy, I hope to show you some of the gardens I visited and discoveries I have made. And maybe a few pictures of the progress here. Wish me luck.