This photo is of my cutting garden in previous, happier summers. I’m telling myself it can again be this good if I try, try again. This will be the third planting of sunflowers, cosmos, and zinnias in the cutting garden, and I’m hoping the third time’s a charm.
The big washout
I try not to whine, but the cutting garden has been washed away twice. Also, I accidentally left my original seeds from Floret Flowers and Johnny’s Selected Seeds in my tool bucket which proceeded to get rained upon.
The seed packets were a mucky, stinky mess which of course, the seeds loved, and they germinated with abandon. What to do? I just took the packets with all the sprouting seeds and buried them in the rows. Here’s what I got after thinning a little bit. Normally, I plant all of the cutting garden seeds in nice, tidy rows so the flowers are easier to cut. Plus, I just like the look of it.
This year, will just be a little more haphazard.
In case you haven’t heard, everything in Oklahoma has been rained upon multiple times in May. Although much of the perennial garden and my potager are flourishing, the cutting garden took the brunt of the fast-moving storms. It and my gravel paths in the back garden that have washed out numerous times.
Brennan and I have shoveled a lot of gravel this spring.
The second washout
Then, it rained 12.5 inches or so, and my cutting garden beds washed away for the second time. It also broke one of the beds, and my sweet husband and son worked on fixing it with the orange tractor. I have to say that the Kubota tractor is one of our best investments. Fully automatic, it starts up like a champ and does the job. Brennan dug out the entire end of the bed down to the second board. It was hard, mucky work.
I lost an entire row of sunflowers although I tried to move them. You guessed it. Cutworms ate them. Plus, sunflowers don’t like to be transplanted.
I weeded out the grass that sprung up from everywhere and mulched and sowed seed in between the mulch rows.
Then, it rained again. I’ve lost track or how many inches, but it rained and rained and rained. It is the fourth wettest May in Oklahoma history statewide. At our house, we’ve had almost three feet of rain by our rain gauge. All of the mulch and seeds went down the hill. Maybe they will sprout for the bees, but I doubt it.
Third time’s a charm
So, today, I got out there and sowed seeds again. Interspersed between all this woe are photos of past years to remind me how pretty the cutting garden looks and how much it helps out the pollinators. I also planted 2.5 rows of tricolor mixed bush beans from Renee’s Seeds. I hope they grow and make things pretty and yummy.
I’m not promising I’ll know the names of any of the varieties of sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos or any other flowers in these beds this year. I’ve just planted too many times, but you’ll all forgive me, won’t you?
I think I can, I think I can
You may also be wondering why I just don’t give up and quit. I’ve wondered that too. Could it be because The Little Engine That Could (Original Classic Edition) was my favorite bedtime book as a child? There was just something about that little train and how she never gave up.
In the front of the beds, I planted some of the tomatoes and peppers I’m testing along with tomatillos. I hope we get a few more days of sunshine to make things go well.
Elsewhere, everything’s coming up roses
Today, Carol and I published another podcast episode, “Everything’s coming up roses” on the Gardenangelists. Making it mostly about roses was, believe it or not, Carol’s idea. Most of my roses have finished their first bloom, and I’m deadheading all of them. I hope on the podcast we give you a taste for roses you can grow without too much fuss.
Also, it’s time to do the Chelsea chop on all your asters and other tall-growing fall perennials. We talked about that in last week’s episode.
I just got an alert that storms are moving into my area. Of course they are!
I hope your world is sunny, and your gardens are all blooming. Till next time, no matter what, let’s keep growing!
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
Thank you for posting your trials as well as your triumphs! I’m in Georgia and we are finally getting rain on a consistent basis, but we had a rough 3 to 4 weeks of very high temps and no rain, so I lost several things I had been keeping in pots waiting to plant when the rain softened the ground. I’m going to try to sow some zinnias seed and rudbeckia seeds over the long 4th of July weekend! I’m already planning for a better year next year! Looking forward to November!!
Hi Kristy, I think it’s unrealistic and unfair not to share the difficulties we all face. It just wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t share my failures. My cutting garden is still struggling although some of the beds are gaining ground. I’ve lost so many things this year due to the rain. Those little plants didn’t have a chance. I may try again, but I may just go buy some plants. Thanks for reading and commenting.~~Dee
OH Dee, I’m sorry for all your washouts..we feel your pain! I can’t remember this much rain in Oklahoma since I moved her in the mid 80’s. The ground has been squishy and my mulch is all over the place but all in all everything is growing like a weed. Seems we have to mow as soon as the sun comes out or we have to wait for the next round of storms to pass. This week looks promising and today was beautiful. At least my hydrangeas are blooming this year…for two years they have been nipped back by late frosts. We gardeners are ever hopeful for the next season and we just keep trying! Hope your need seeds sprout and grow like weeds!
Hi Sonia, those weeds are growing gangbusters too! All of my perennial gardens love this weather. The cutting garden not so much. I’ve lost tons of mulch too. It was hot and nice today. I think we may get more rain tonight though. You just have to laugh or you’d cry, wouldn’t you? I choose to laugh. Thanks for stopping by!~~Dee
We’ve been hearing about all your crazy storms there. Sometimes there’s just not much you can do against Mother Nature other than what you are doing – try, try, try again! Here’s hoping that your last seeding does well and you enjoy all the beautiful blooms that will come!
Thanks a bunch! You’re right. There’s not much you can do when Mother Nature won’t get out of a rut.
If I were in your shoes I think I would have pulled out all my hair by now. I tend to take the weather personally. I would have been out there in the rainstorm, my hands raised to the sky, shouting: “WHY? WHY?” Anyway, glad things are good in the rest of your garden.
Your comment made me feel so much better. I’ll be honest, by now, I am taking it personally. We’re supposed to get more rain this week. More rain. Grrr. Thank you!
Hi Dee, I feel your pain! I live in the south OKC/Moore area and as you know, we’ve had major flooding today. My sunflower seeds are nowhere to be found. They’ve probably been washed out into the yard. Some of my zinnias are popping up but they look kind of pitiful because they need some sun!! Good luck with yours!
Oh Susan, I am so sorry. I understand how truly frustrating that is! My zinnias look pitiful too. I haven’t seen what the latest round of storms did. I’m out of town, but my children sent me videos of the rain. I know it’s going to stop and then we’ll be wishing for rain again (like normal), but I’m not seeing that so far this year. Hang in there. The sun will come out eventually.
Here in Chandler Ok I feel your pain Dee! I put my fourth try with seeds down yesterday and guess what…
It’s raining now?
Whole lotta rain I understand. Ugh.
Yet I sense that you keep your sense of good humor, and that’s a blessing. I’ll admit to a bit of grumpiness in my ongoing battle with gophers, moles and voles in my plantings, but the horrified look on my granddaughter’s face when she saw I’d ordered a gallon of castor oil still makes me laugh.
You gotta laugh, or you’d give up or cry. We gardeners persevere don’t we? 🙂
We’ve had rain almost every week since September and I have to say it’s been beyond frustrating. I get the wash out issue completely and love that you’re trying again. The weather has just gone bonkers.
Thanks Carole! I’ll keep trying until summer is over, and fall begins. Then, I’ll let go. Ha! Hang in there. The weather must eventually get better.
Nature’s re-arrangement of a garden brings new opportunities.
Perhaps, so. I’m a little weary of these new opportunities, but I like how you think.
That sounds like my gardening experience last year, only heat and drought! I live in West Texas. But this year it just keeps raining! My garden has never been so green and lovely. Of course there are weeds! Man are there weeds! All I do is weed and mow grass. This has to be the greenest, most lush year I can remember in my 25 years in this spot. Things will get better! Chin up, although I know how frustrating it can be. We live in an area of extremes! Look forward to updates.
Chris, yeah, I haven’t even mentioned the weeds. Goodness, all I do is weed, and my mulch keeps washing away. Crazy weather.
Disheartening to say the least! It is always something. I admire your persistence. Don’t let Mother Nature win this time.
I’m doing my best. One step at a time.
Pretty soon your cutting garden will be flourishing and you will be saying, just like the little engine, “I thought I could, I thought I could…”. Ever loves that story, too. xoxo
I sure hope so Gail. More rain yesterday. I’m glad it’s headed your way now.
Christine @ Rustic-Refined.com
Ohhh I feel your pain. These rains have just caused so many problems with washout and floodings. I keep trying to stay positive because it has to stop sometime and let’s hope it’s soon!
Hi Christine, that’s what I keep thinking too. Then, we’ll be sad we’re getting no rain. 🙂
Lisa at Greenbow
Oh yes, this sping has been the wettest in 10 years here. I don’t remember a spring like this but according to the weather people I was here the last time too. Funny how these bad times leave our memory. Hang in there Dee. This spring will be one for the books.
Lisa, I don’t remember a spring this wet before either, but I’m sure it’s happened. So frustrating, but Mr. Sun will show his face again. I know he will. Haha!!
I’m with you. I just bought more zinnia seed today. I’m down to not even being picky about it. I lost all of my Prairie Queen in the first flood May 7th. Most of the landscaping we did last year is gone. I just went and bought new tomatoes and pepper plants to put in again. They are sitting in a big clay pot outside as it is too wet to dig holes. I will appreciate anything we get this year. Don’t give up! I say it is the pioneer spirit in us that makes us get up and do it again.
Okay Peggy. I won’t give up if you don’t. You’ve had it even worse than me. I hope it dries up soon.
Ann Munro Reynolds
Of course, all that rain you’ve had only means one thing. . . A long, hot, dry summer!
Gosh Ann, probably. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know?
Good heavens, that’s frustrating! I’m glad they’re finally settling in. Queen Lime is fabulous: I need to think about adding that one to my potager garden one of these years.
Beth, I love the entire Queen Lime series. I think I planted seeds for each of the varieties. It will all be a surprise what comes up if it does. Ha!
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening
Gardening doesn’t only teach patience, does it? It also teaches perseverance and tenacity. I guess it teaches about every aspect of life. I hope third time truly is the charm.
Thank you Kathy! I appreciate it.