For those of you just joining us, we’re so glad you came to visit. Each week, I, along with Carol of May Dreams Gardens and Mary Ann of Idaho Gardener will take you on the unfolding journey of our vegetable gardens. For prior submissions, please see the links at the end of this letter.
Well, when we discussed writing this series of letters, I wasn’t so naive that I believed all would be easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey. After all, tiptoeing through the tulips is fine in a song, but not very realistic or practical in application. I considered how an infestation of tomato hornworms, locusts or a heat wave of historic proportions might hit the garden. However, in all of my wildest disaster fantasies, I never dreamt of a blizzard in late March.
This week has been full of anxiety throughout Oklahoma. The meterologists, almost rubbing their hands with glee, started last Monday with dire predictions of snow, sleet, and freezing rain for two thirds of the state. Computer models were consulted like oracles, and having the weather on my computer only made it worse with weather, warning popups flashing every few minutes. On radar, I watched the gigantic, blue blob, that was the storm, gather momentum as it marched through New Mexico. Gardeners all over Oklahoma searched their cabinets for sheets and blankets, clothespins and safety pins. By Friday, I was a nervous wreck.
So, I wrote an Examiner post about what to try and save, and listing what I could do, calmed me.
As predicted, the storm slammed into the western part of our state, and my friend Sarah reported from her blog about her experience. Here, however (in the center of the Sooner state), it rained, and rained and rained. It rained all day and all night, and the temperature (which was my real concern) never dipped below 34F.
I thought we were in the clear.
Then, came Saturday. By mid-morning, the weather cleared, and the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. I rejoiced at my keyboard telling commenters that all was not lost. From the living room, HH yelled to look out the window. Fat snowflakes fell from the sky onto my springtime shrubs and bulbs. Like the little rebel I am, I grabbed a coat and scissors and ran outdoors. I filled my arms and every vase I own with tulips of orange, yellow, pink and purple. Because of the sudden change in temperature, they are now wide open as though filled with fright at their sudden change in circumstances.
All total, we got over two inches of rain in the gauge and one inch of snow.
In the midst of this madness, a care package arrived from Klehm’s Song Sparrow Nursery filled with an Acer palmatum ‘Tsuma gaki;’ three hostas, ‘May,’ ‘Dragon’s Fire’ and ‘Deep Blue Sea;’ and three plants of Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold.’ I purchased these over a month ago, and they arrived in the nick of time to cheer my spirits. They are positioned just inside the front door, waiting for a warm day to go outside and play. Song Sparrow also sent me a new daylily, ‘Pumpkin Ruffles,’ I think. I later couldn’t find it in their catalog.
Can I just say that I always feel inadequate when shopping for hostas? There are so many to choose from, and so many resemble each other with only a small variation. I always wonder if I’m picking the best one for my hot dry climate, and no, I won’t be joining the Hosta Society anytime soon.
I realize that, so far, this letter hasn’t mentioned a single vegetable. Before the storm, I debated about covering the veggie crops, but while waiting for the inevitable freeze and frost, I ended up covering only the newly planted Japanese maple out front, a couple of Heucheras, my two climbing ‘Zephirine Droughin’ roses and the two ‘Rio Sambas.’
You can see where my heart lies. I reasoned that since the temperature wasn’t going below 30F, the cold weather crops would be fine. Plus, these vegetables are annuals, and the other plants were expensive perennials. I hope Saint Fiacre covered them for me.
I am surprised to write that two of my letters have referenced snow, and we rarely get snow this close to our last freeze date of April 20th. Although I know this too shall pass (and in the middle of summer I’ll be wishing for cooler weather), I must admit I feel a bit like the tulip in the photo, bent but not broken.
I hope your gardens are faring better. Til next time, I remain your affectionate friend.
Another programming note: Jodi from Bloomingwriter and Sylvia, who is a frequent guestblogger on Tulips in the Woods started their own letter series. If any of you decide to do the same, please drop us a comment, and we’ll let folks know.