As we approach the end of May I’m pretty sure things couldn’t be better. There was a moment (actually quite a few) when I was sitting in the backyard, looked about and thought to myself, ‘wow, this is friggin awesome’. It wasn’t just one thing or another, it was the warm breeze, the scent of iris blooms, birds chirping, the wind rustling fresh foliage, flowers here and there, it was all that and it just feels great after months of seemingly endless cold.
To be completely honest there were a few days in there when the heat was almost bad enough to say something mildly bad about too much heat, but then a quick sit in the shade fixed things. With enough rain and sun you can almost hear things growing, and I like that.
There used to be a lull in flowers between the last tulips and first iris and roses, but by carefully buying too many plants each year for the last few years I’ve ended up filling that gap. I shall try to keep up that effort and see what else wonderful results from overplanting. Maybe it’s the secret to thicker hair or longer life, you never know, better to err on the side of caution since I think I saw something once about a lack of new plants being linked to excessive weight gain and cognitive decline. Be careful is all I’m saying.
This talk of new plants has me a little worried because work and a pile of mulch to spread has kept me too busy for my usual nursery runs. I did manage to finish off the front yard mulching, but after bailing out eight or nine bucket of water out of the basement Saturday I told my contractor he owed me another load of mulch. He agreed. A new roof is nice, but when all the water is now directed to a spot just above the basement door, and the gutter is missing, and you can see water flowing into the house it can be discouraging. Good thing mulch makes me happy.
Plenty of other things make me happy as well, and since many of the plenty are things which bloom in May, even the latest round of water in the house can’t dampen my spirits.
Even though the rain doesn’t need to fall in downpours of one or two inches it’s still worth it to have a green lawn in May rather than the beginning of drought. Everything seems happier after a good soak, provided there’s some sun and warmth afterwards… rather than endless damp and grey.
You may be wondering how the construction is going if all this rain and water is still getting into the house, and I wish I could say we’re almost there, but we’re not. Things are crawling along but with a contractor who is often a one or two man show, crawling is as good as it gets. Good thing we like him and it’s always (eventually) a job well done 🙂
So bit by bit I try to bring back the parts of the garden ‘touched’ by construction. Areas are looking better but the pond was one spot I’d given up on. There are large rocks and nearly a foot of dirt which have fallen in, but just last week everything changed. I heard frogs singing, and then I heard more. In the muddy, murky waters I see many frog eggs and suspect this corner of PA will soon see a tree frog population explosion. I’m already trying to figure out what I can feed them with since I can’t imagine there’s enough whatever in this pond to feed so many future tadpoles.
So if all goes well this summer shall again see an abundance of baby gray tree frogs entering the garden. Perhaps that will make up for the missing garter snakes.
For all the rocks which came up out of the construction hole, I’m a little disappointed by how short a rock wall I was able to build. People who garden on rocky sites are likely rolling their eyes and saying we have plenty, come get a few, but nearly all my rocks are covered by shale and fill and would require a little quarrying to get to them. Hmmm. I’ve heard of people who have done as much and according to my book, if someone else has tried it maybe it’s not so crazy. Maybe I could start a ‘small backhoe campaign’ and start talking about backhoes enough that eventually someone will say ‘just get the stupid thing if that will shut you up’. That could be fun 🙂
Having a backhoe BEFORE I moved several tons of rock by hand would have been a smarter move, but if the early settlers were able to clear a field by hand and build miles of wall I think I should be able to handle a few feet.
So what other silliness has been going on around here… the entire winter garden is out of the house but bags of canna roots and pots of caladium corms are still waiting their turn. Many of the deck planters have been planted and overall it’s nearly all overwintered things and not much new. That’s good for the budget but at the moment the repotted mandevilla vine looks like a whole lot of dead, and not quite the highlight of any summer display, so maybe it will still be a few weeks before I share photos of that.
In some parts of the garden I think I’m overcompensating for the construction destruction. The guilt of bulldozed and buried plants has me trying to make other areas extra-neat as I try to balance those out with areas I’ve abandoned.
Speaking of abandoned areas, the snowdrop beds are all on that list. Maybe I’ll weed and divide things this summer, or maybe not. These days I can call it a wild garden and don’t think anyone will judge me too harshly, plus it’s always going to be much more interesting than mulchbeds and lawn, even though 90% of my neighbors would much prefer mulchbeds and lawn rather than the excessive plantings which find their home here (the other 10% are undecided).
Honestly sometimes I’m undecided if all these questionable plants and sweaty labor are changing things here for the better, but when the tadpoles come I will know they are. Actually every new thing which comes up has me convinced it’s all for the better… except maybe poison ivy seedlings. I can do without those.
Enjoy these last days of May, they pass far too quickly!