Where do we go from here?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In The Good Ol' (But Very Difficult) Summertime

If it weren't for the delicious coolness of the early mornings, I think I'd be a stark raving madwoman by now. I head out as soon as it's light to see what's happening in the yard, do a little hand watering of pots, deadheading, and just commune with whatever is making it thru these deadly months.  Summer seems to be an endurance course this year, with the heat and drought the hurdles I'm having a very hard time getting over.  It is well into the monsoon season now, and though it has rained in some parts of the state, mainly northern areas,  here in the Albuquerque area there have only been spot showers of very brief duration.  We can practically count the drops.  Every afternoon the clouds build up, both east and west of the city, but aside from some thunder, nothing happens.

In the spring planting season I could already see what was coming, and we were already well into a drought (no precipitation since sometime last October), so I held off on planting anything.  No food crops this year, no lovely spring lettuce, no summer tomatoes or peppers, not even much by way of herbs.  My thyme and variegated sage bought it during the subzero winter temps, so I was only left with oregano, chives, garlic chives, mint and culinary sage. A month or so ago I couldn't stand the emptiness of my gardens, so I stupidly went to Lowe's and bought a few perennials to put in pots, deciding to simply think of them as annuals and not be upset when they didn't make it.  Which is a good thing, because most of them have already decided to leave plant hell, my yard, for plant heaven, wherever that may be.  Our water bill for last month was outrageous, so I am going to night watering only, except for things in pots which I do by hand with watering cans. I am very worried about the trees and shrubs, which I drip water, but am adding some hand watering at night when it won't evaporate.

Gardening has always been my way of enjoying the summer months, a form of recreation, exercise, enjoying the outdoor environment, as well as meditation and destressing.  This year it has become its own form of stress, which is really silly.  I'm starting to detach from obsessing on keeping things in perfect shape, just trying to keep what I can alive, and enjoying whatever IS alive, especially whatever is managing to bloom.  The yard is still full of birds, butterflies and bees, so life does go on, and I continue to hope for those afternoon clouds to drop some blessed rain before monsoon season is over.  There are some pretty good chances for this to happen later in the week.  We shall see.


Photos:  1. Geraniums in pots by front gate. 2.  This year's favorite hollyhock color.  3. A crowd of Mexican Hats.

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