Over the Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, I came down with an evil virus from which I am just now recovering. It was an upper respiratory thing that involved laryngitis and a lot of coughing. I have used lots of sick leave, first completely out of the office, then taking short days once I returned after a week of telework. As soon as the doctor said this was something going around since February, I asked how long it would last. His answer was that the baseline was three to four weeks. Ugh. I’m beginning the fifth week now and finally feeling truly on the mend.
The result is a garden full of weeds. My gardening neighbor, Alex, and her son Harry weeded for me a couple weeks ago, so it was less of a weed patch yesterday when I got into it than it might have been.
The really distressing thing was that (hooray) we got a new higher fence from the county. This in itself, I’m grateful for. On the other hand, I think I have more linear feet of fence line than anyone and the fencers trampled and flattened my flower borders, probably killed at least one of my old rose plants, and somehow managed to trample some squash plants well inside the garden.
Had I not been sick, I might have been able to get in there and save some things by propping them up. Instead, most of the border began to compost in the heat, so yesterday, slowly, saving my energy, I pulled out a lot of dead stuff that was slimy and smelly underneath. I can’t even think about the outside border yet, and nobody from the county had better complain about the way the sidewalk border looks. I miss being able to cut flowers for the house, but on the other hand, I picked up a boatload of wildflower seed at an eco-festival a few weeks ago, so once I weed and do a little soil prep on the outside border, I can throw those seeds down for a crop of blossoms next year.
I was able to harvest lots of kale and all my garlic. The chard and parsley are coming along nicely, given our cold spring turned suddenly hot.
I was surprised by my tomatoes, which are growing beautifully and have some young tomatoes coming on. Jane taught me how to sucker them. She has been taking care of the tomatoes in the small Plot Against Hunger garden, which also lost its flower border.
Our big outside plot kept its spectacular sidewalk border, but got damage to all our carefully transplanted rudbeckia and the rose, which we propped back up yesterday. Grapevines and raspberry canes were demolished as well, but otherwise, this large outside garden got a good, much needed weeding and its squashes and lettuce, carrots and beets looked pretty good, all told.
I’m usually not this disgusted and hopeless about a garden until August weather has at it. Luckily, by the end of my work yesterday I felt like the inside might just be manageable; I would just have to accept that it wouldn’t happen at my usual energetic speed. So I’m thinking maybe by end of July (right before August has at it), I might have my usual garden back, without the flowers, of course, but, gardens always teach you that 1) there are surprises, and 2) you can’t have everything!