wild weather

Today, the weather was completely mercurial; sun showers, wind, cold, hot, sun, overcast – it seemed to change every other minute. But the rain was so light that my raincoat, which is my favorite piece of clothing, kept it all off of me. I invested in a really really good raincoat from L.L. Bean that I absolutely love – it makes a real difference in my comfort level on days that it is spitting out but not raining for real. When I first started out I used to garden in real rain. Then I had a wonderful employer/mentor who didn’t believe in working in the rain because she felt like it wasn’t good for the garden (I can’t remember why – was she worried about soil compaction? Instigating mildew? Perhaps she just needed to do her billing…) and so I got used to not working when it rained. I did a google and I found a wonderful article on the pleasures of working in the rain.  Perhaps the key is being able to go in whenever you are chilled, change your clothes and get a warm drink.

Working with Sage was fun though – we don’t usually work together and I love it when we do. Today we planted some native hazelnuts, cut back oak sprouts from old stumps and salted them, and cut back some of the plants in the perennial garden. The last was a little strange but the owner had left so we started the process. I brought home a bunch of Calendula flowers to do something with, I’m not sure what, maybe make face cream? Sage says that you can eat our native hazelnuts, as long as you can get to them before the squirrels do. We had a little powdery mildew on some of our Monarda – I think because there was no air circulation, they were way too close to the Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) which was glorious, by the way. I left cutting the diseased plants till last, Sage ended up doing it, then we stuffed them into bags to take to the transfer station (they incinerate trash in our area).  Sage will probably do something to disinfect her pruners, I always do with baby wipes. Most of the things we cut either looked like they were finished photosynthesizing, were strong enough to survive being cut back early or were shading out something we really wanted to get a little more sun, like the Dahlias.

Gardening always seems like a trade off, sometimes we do something not because it is the optimal time but because that is when we have time to do it. I guess that is why we are doing all the soil moving projects now, in the rain.

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