This past year has been brutal for gardeners and gardens in our area. We began with a dry winter, followed by a dry spring. June kickstarted summer with four days of 100+ degree weather followed by going on four weeks of 90+ degrees, with no end in sight.
Plants that normally survive fine over the winter, suffered from low moisture and extra cold temps. Many of our bushes had to be cut to the ground to get a fresh start: Weigelia, Butterfly Bushes, Roses. Our normal watering pattern is beds once a week, pots, blueberries and roses M/W/F, trees deep soaked on Sundays.
Because of all the ongoing projects that took my time up in spring, I neglected the watering, thinking things were looking fine. Then, BAM! Summer hit with a vengeance! We started our watering regiment, but nothing flourished. Seedlings remained seedlings, strawberries weren’t blooming, not to mention my blueberry leaves were yellow. I found out recently my soul isn’t acidic enough, so we have taken steps to mitigate that with some sulphur and blood meal. I was puzzled.
Then, we visited a friend who is also an avid gardener. Her garden looked amazing! She mentioned she had been soaking things daily. The next morning, our regiment was changed to daily watering of all veggie beds, potted flowers and blueberries. Two weeks later, things are looking up! The cucumber seedlings have taken off, the winter squash I growing, we have extra zucchini for preserving and making zucchini sweet bread and Swiss chard for our stir fry. In fact, I have time to write this, only because I am waiting for our first batch of zucchini bread to come out of the oven. The whole house smells delicious!
I will make a few extra loaves to freeze so I can pull it out and thaw it for nights that we entertain company. Now, I need to get my freeze dryer running so I can begin freeze drying the extra produce for winter use in soups and casseroles.
As brutal as the weather has been, I am excited and hopeful as the summer progresses. God has been merciful and gentle with me this yearunlike the weather, and it seems that his hand is on our garden to provide.
I pray that in the midst of whatever you are viewing as brutality, that you will be able to see past it to find that which is kind, gentle, loving and hopeful. The zucchini bread is done, and my eyes and feet are ready for some sleep. Goodnight.