This has not been an easy year. In fact, it’s the worst I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve gardened heavily since I was twenty or so. I’m not going to say how long that’s been, but believe me, a long time.
I’ve seen summers of drought and those with too much water.
Plants which didn’t want to live here, and, pursuant to their wishes, I released them to the great garden in the sky. However, this summer I’ve lost plants I never thought I’d lose.
I’m saddest about the Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Fastigiata’ (vertical plum yew) I planted last fall. Until July, it was thriving, but even though this cultivar is considered appropriate for southern gardens, my yew will be dug before fall. Another sad plant in my garden is Sambucus nigra Black Lace™ elderberry. It isn’t dead, but it’s ugly.
We’ve had a wonderful week of cooler temperatures, but I find it hard to go out there and assess the damage. There are lemonade plants–those which survived in spite of everything, and I’ll post about them this week. However, today is to honor those which have perished in our summer of hell.
If you think I’m being particularly morose, head over to my friend, Linda Vater’s blog, Potager, where she profiles the winners and losers of 2011. She’s lost a lot too.
Some things just can’t survive over 100F heat for sixty-one days. I barely could, and I had air conditioning.
As I reassess the garden, I need to fall in love with it again, and I will in time. I just need a moment to mourn.
My advice is get out there and tackle the weeds one bed at a time. Pet your dog or cat and listen to the birds sing. Try not to do the garden chores all at once. Just take your time. Be good to yourself. Take breaks. Drink a lot of water and iced tea. Think about what you’d like to change and put those plants which died on the compost pile–unless they are diseased.
It’s time to reconnect with that deepest part of ourselves, the part which longs to nurture. It’s time to garden again.