Where do we go from here?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Garden Thoughts

Here in New Mexico rain is a precious thing.  We have had no measureable precipitation in Albuquerque since May second.  That's nearly two months now. It had gotten to the point where I was watering some of my plantings every darn day.  So, when yesterday as I stepped out the door to head to work, the skies opened up and let loose with first hailstones then raindrops, I and every other gardener in the city whooped with joy.  It rained all afternoon.  It was still raining when my class was over and I headed across the parking lot to my car.  It was still raining while we ate supper.  It stopped long enough for a gorgeous break-in-the-clouds sunset, then rained off and on during the night.  We opened up every window in the house to let in the cool wet breezes for the evening, and left the bedroom windows open all night.  This morning when I went out to do my morning tour of gardens and planters it was like a new world.  Everything was perky and happy, refreshed in the way that only rain can bring.  All the watering and fertilizing in the world can't accomplish what one good long gentle rainstorm can. 

So, I have brought in most of the remaining lettuces and lots of herbs.  The greens are starting to bolt, they have reached their limit of heat tolerance.  I think there is one more harvest of lettuce greens, but they will be pretty bitter.  The arugula is growing apace, partly in the shade.  I need to thin it, bring in the thinnings for a salad.  In the past weeks of heat we have been eating salads just about all the time, varying them with sandwiches.  Even toasting bread for sandwiches has been almost too much heating of the kitchen.  We are impatient for the tomatoes and cucumbers to get busy and produce some fruit - but I have to keep reminding myself it's only the end of June.  The tomatoes have blossoms, the cuke vines are strong and healthy but no blossoms yet.  This year I haven't done too much with flowers, though the sunflowers and thithonia seedlings are getting ready for going into the ground.  The maximilian sunflowers (perennial native sunflowers) have spread hugely across the back of the yard and once they bloom they will be magnificent.  I lost some perennials over the very cold winter, and am taking my time deciding what to use for replacements.  The agastaches and mallows are about ready to bloom, which should bring more hummingbirds back into the yard. What we've had lately are flocks of bushtits in the front yard, at the suet and in all the small trees and shrubs.  They are such darling birds, so very busy and full of themselves. I'm thinking of a trip to High Desert Gardens either today or tomorrow, at least to stroll, observe, and think about what I'll buy next.  Soon I will be a lady of leisure (more on that in another post) and have time time time for all the gardening I can stand.


Cynthia said...

I really can't imagine living in a place without regular rain. I think my soul would wither faster than the grass.

Lisa :-] said...

We've had so MUCH rain that some of my perennials--like my clematis--are crippled by mildew. Possibly even root rot, which would be really bad. I would give much, right now, to be able to sit out on the deck on a warm evening and enjoy the plants I finally got in the ground.

marigolds2 said...

It is hard, Cynthia, I agree. There was formerly a "monsoon" season here in the latter part of summer - when it sometimes rained every day. With the global changes in climate, this pattern seems to be a thing of the past. There are times when my longing for rain is a visceral thing, a need as strong as the need for food, or sleep, or love. I don't think I'm going to last much longer in New Mexico - but Gail is so happy here that it's hard to contemplate another move. I go from day to day. Or try to.