Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I've Seen the Light!

. . . at the end of the tunnel, that is. Last spring and the spring before that, Romie and I worked like crazy people on projects, breaking new ground, amending the soil, planting seeds and plants and shrubs and trees, and spreading mulch. Last year, I told him that once we got things done, we wouldn't have to kill ourselves like that.

I said that the year before, too.

Yet here we are, both exhausted, both wondering if a garden is ever really done. I'm going to temper my statement this year by saying that after this year, I can't foresee any major projects for the garden. That's easy to say... now.

We've had good weather and bad, the latter coming most recently last Friday night, when at midnight, I received a severe weather alert from The Weather Channel. The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for our area, because they'd seen a severe thunderstorm with rotation centered over guess where? Our little village of less than 200 people!

I turned on the outside light and saw that it was raining hard and the wind was blowing, but I've seen it far worse. And then it became deathly still. The rain slowed to a sprinkle and there was no wind at all. It was eerie. Then it all started up again.

You'd think at this point I would have awakened Romie and we'd go to the basement, but for some reason, I didn't. I checked the radar online and it appeared that the storm had moved just east of us. I went to bed shortly after. The next morning, I looked out the front door and there was water over the road and a small lake in the field across from us.

Later, on the news, we heard that a tornado touched down in a couple of places, and that there was damage to property just five miles south of us. We went past it and saw that a metal grain bin had been destroyed, as well as an outbuilding. Debris was scattered for a fairly large distance in a couple different directions.

The cause of this particular damage was determined to be not a tornado, but straight line winds. It doesn't matter though, because it was still a powerful storm that caused tornado-like damage.

We got 3½ inches of rain out of that storm and the garden was gushy and soggy. I was glad that I hadn't planted seeds the day before, because it had rained so hard that some of the mulch we'd just put down was all piled to the side and had to be respread.

Later in the day, a tractor with a front-end loader was out scooping up the corn stalks that had floated out of the fields onto the road.

The garden is growing like gangbusters and I've also been kept busy trying to keep up with normal garden chores like weeding and deadheading. DEADHEADING! We're already into deadheading season! We're pinching back things like the coleus and mums, too! And today, I sowed the final seeds for the flower gardens.

Isn't it too late for planting seeds? No. In my limited experience, I've found that sometimes it doesn't really pay to get into a big hurry putting them in the ground. We'd planted the corn a few weeks ago, but we had to replant some of it because we'd had too much rainy, cool weather and the seeds rotted in the ground. Later-planted seeds will germinate quicker in the warm soil and once they're up, they'll grow fairly fast and will eventually catch up to their earlier-planted versions.

There's still some work to be done before I can declare the gardens ready for summer, but I expect I can get it done in a day or two. Last year, we went all summer with the mulch pile in our driveway turn-around in front of the house, and I vowed not to let that happen this year. At day's end tomorrow, I fully expect this year's pile to be where it's supposed to be - spread out in the gardens.

I've got a few bulbs to pot up (Acidanthera, Calla lilies, and Oxalis), and the Caladiums need to be planted in among the Cotoneasters and on the back side of the trellis. Once this is done, the gardens will be fully dressed and ready for us to enjoy watching things grow until fall is upon us once again.

So much has been done this spring and I will be blogging about it in the next week or so, trying to catch up with an account of it all. Several factors have been behind keeping me from staying current, with the main one being the fact that we've spent so much time and effort doing that which I still need to blog about and I'm just plain tired when I come in the house for the night. But a temperamental SD card that contains many of the photos that will accompany the blog posts has also been frustrating. And then there's my wonky ISP. It's a conspiracy, I tell ya!

Enough of that - and on with the fun stuff of gardening! Coming posts will include a series about new additions to the gardens in the way of shrubs and perennials, a post about the wildflowers of Litzenberg Woods, a bird and butterfly report, and the kitties will check in.

Stay tuned!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is good to hear that you and yours weren't harmed during the big storm.

This time of year is just crazy Kylee. Don't worry about not getting posts done regularly. If you did I would wonder how your garden was getting taken care of, it is just that time of year. I will look forward to your postings when you have time.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Things in your garden look lovely -- and what a scary thing to have a storm like that! I look forward to those upcoming posts.

Unknown said...

Glad to hear that you escaped the worst of the storms, Kylee! My parents did, too, but the damage started about 3000 feet away from their house, at a neighbor's whose kids used to ride the bus to school with me. They lost almost all of the trees on their property.

Luckily, nobody in Glandorf was injured, though... the worst of the damage was in "Schroederville" (so called because it's the old Schroeder farm that had been parcelled up over the years, with many Schroeders living there still.) Lots of damage to many houses there.

My favorite story about this is how hundreds of people randomly get dressed, pack a lunch, and head to the damaged areas the next day to help their "neighbors" with cleanup. I am happy that still happens in this day and age.

My second favorite story is that "Grandma Schroder" slept through having the roof torn off of her house. At 86, she's apparently hard of hearing... and she had no idea that there was a tornado at all until one of the grandkids stopped in to check up on her! *grin*

Connie said...

I just had to laugh when I read what you had told your husband about 'next year'! I have said that so many times, but then I get a vision for another garden improvement. My hubby is so good to help me and fund all my projects.
I'm betting that you will most certainly find some projects to do next year, ha. :-)

Laurie Brandriet Keller said...

I absolutely adore your blog! Thanks for the inspiration. Amen Sister! to your thoughts on if the garden is ever really finished.

Cheryl said...

What a scary storm, glad that you were okay at your little acre.
We have only ever had one severe storm that I can was in 1987 and winds reached 100 miles an hour. That was enough for me.
You are right a garden is never finished. Every year I say thats it, no more changes etc etc. Never stick to it.

Unknown said...

Hmm, it looks like I'm already planning a big project for next year too. I'm not sure that all of my big projects will ever come to an end.

Eve said...

You have the most beautiful blog..I am throughly enjoying it. I live on the Gulf Coast,,,so this month starts our Hurricane season. I think Hurricanes are easier to cope with than tornados...we get a lot of warning with them.
I love to garden and this year I am trying the square foot gardening far, so good..

Here is my blog (my first one) if you would like to visit me,,I would love it. I've always been afraid if I made one,,,no one would show up... : )

Kerri said...

Kylee, I'm so glad you escaped the worst of the storm. It must've been scary for those people who had all that damage.
I planted a bunch of seeds today. It's rather nice to have a few bloom later. I did this last year and it worked out well.
Spring is exhausting with so much to be done in a short space of time. We're always adding projects too :) No, the garden is never really done!

Unknown said...

Hi you, I'm way behind in blogging, checking blogs...and my garden is a mess at the moment. It's been unfit to work outside on the days when I have time, and today, when I could be out there, I've got a wedding to go to. Oh well. There's something going on in the gardening world with a lot of us, and I'll devote a post to that soon.

The wild weather that I'm hearing from you and others i the US is alarming me. It seems to be worse this year than in other years, or maybe I just know so many more people--whether electronically or otherwise--now that I'm more sensitized to it. Tornadoes scare the bejabers out of me, just the thought of them. Glad you're safe--and glad that neighbours are as good as they are, wherever they are.

Lynn Hasty said...

I came across your blog today while surfing. I'm a gardener too. Just wanted to say hello and tell you I really enjoyed looking at your blog. I've put you in my blog roll so I can remember to come back!


garden girl said...

Heavy weather here too - we spent about 30 minutes in our basement yesterday, with the floor joists creaking. Fortunately, no damage at our house. Neighboring suburbs sustained heavy damage in several spots. I never heard so many storm sirens going off so often and so long.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You're not the only one behind. I loved your Daffodil post. I can't believe how late yours were in bloom. And the mulch pile in the driveway all summer? Been there. This year I decided to avoid that mess & have been buying it by the bag. There's never enough. I'm glad to hear that it's not too late for seeds - I've got to get my parsley started. (If it ever stops raining.)

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

I'm glad you escaped the worst of that storm Kylee. We don't have hurricanes and tornadoes and stuff over here and I'm very glad we don't.

It is such a busy time of the year for gardeners right now and as you know I find it hard too to keep up with the blogging.

Still some major garden projects here; the long border we're doing now and after we have finished that, the pond (the making of)!

And I have topaint the walls of the house plus the outside of the conservatory and fit in a spot of gardening too. ;-)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hello from neighbors to the west in Illinois. Storms went sough of us and hit the southern burbs of Chicago. We did get the rains and winds. My garden is a swamp, flowers beaten into the muddy ground, water standing in the fields.

I was just mentioning to someone else, when do Midwesterners or prairie folks complain about too much rain? Almost never. We've had to little for years.

Enjoying you website.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I'm so glad you both are safe and sound after the tornado warnings. And I'm even happier to hear that you've met your goal of spreading out all the mulch from the mulch pile! Yay for you!!!!!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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