It was the best of times, it was the worst…
Yes, it’s been one of those springs. The kind we all look at and wonder just what happened out there and why it happened to us.
The Vegetable Garden
I’ll have a report about the vegetable garden here on what we’re now calling Fort Mayo. (for new readers Mayo Underwood is my better half and an expert in heirloom varieties)
It’s been a slow, cold spring here and as I write at the very end of May, the tender transplants such as tomatoes and peppers are just going into the ground. We’ve had huge rainfalls (water levels in Lake Ontario are almost at record levels) and the clay soils in our gardens is a bit “sloppy” at the moment. I’ve hesitated to work this as it can turn into “clumps” very quickly when wet and disturbed.
I hand dug these beds and built the surrounding fences this spring and will have more to say about it on the vegetable garden blog as the season progresses.
The Front Garden
This garden took the brunt of the damage and it’s receiving a major makeover.
When you remove the trees and the evergreens there are two possible reactions.
- The first is to use a few words that I dare not use here. Check that box!
- The second is to take a good look at the damage and decide it’s an “interesting” way to start a new garden. Check that box too.
I’ve Finished Planting
I’ll have pictures for you next month but the bottom line is I decided not to replace any of the trees or evergreens this spring. I had one of those “enough is enough” moments and said, “To heck with it – I’m planting annuals this year.”
At this point, there are somewhere around 400 annual plants laid into the gardens (many of which I started myself) and these are mostly petunias and impatiens. I’ve also sown a ton of seed into the bare ground so the garden is either going to be really colorful or we’ll be feeding the voles and ants our seed too. And the Proven Winners trial plants are in containers for the most part.
It’s Been “Interesting”
It’s an interesting feeling to see your garden destroyed, but it’s not a new feeling for me. Over the years, in the nursery, greenhouses and gardens I’ve lost a great many plants to the weather and to critters of all sizes and shapes. From chipmunks eating the newly germinated rare plants in the propagation house to deer deciding they needed to eat an entire year’s worth of perennial geranium plant production, I’ve “shared” my plants with the creatures who co-inhabit our space.
This year was a bit of a watershed feeling. I will rebuild the gardens but to what extent and to what cost I’m not sure.
The annuals this year are my way of salvaging some color and making myself feel better. I’ll post some pictures when they get going and start filling in the wide open, empty spaces.
I’ll get back to you about the shrubs and evergreens…