Though hot and dry were the main themes of the last month here, we’ve finally gotten some rain, and the cooler temperatures are more in keeping with the fall season. The animals are certainly happier, and the much-needed moisture came just in time to save many of the plants that were about ready to shut down for the season, and to refresh those that have been soldiering in despite the less-than-ideal conditions, such as the golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia).
It’s somewhat unfair that the garden here starts to look really good just as the very first signs of season’s end appear: touches of fall color here and there, the constellation Orion peeking over the eastern horizon just before dawn, and–for goodness’ sake–snowblower sales. I prefer to ignore all that and just enjoy the abundance of late summer.
I’d actually prepared the pictures for this post 2 weeks ago, because I thought I might not have time to do it now. But things are changing so quickly that I ended up replacing many of those images with pictures from the last few days. I’ll re-file the others and save them for a colorful winter post.
After our horribly dry spring here in southeastern Pennsylvania, we’ve been blessed with lovely weather for most of the last month: a few hot and muggy days, but some gloriously cool and dry ones too. The Japanese beetles are back with a vengeance, unfortunately, after being almost completely absent for a number of years, but otherwise, the plants are thriving, and the garden seems to have caught up to where it should be, timing-wise.
Now that we’ve finally gotten some rain again here in southeastern Pennsylvania, I decided to plant out a few pansies.
Yeah, no–just kidding, obviously. But this is part of the spring tradition around here: making the rounds of area nurseries, including Ott’s Exotic Plants in Schwenksville, PA, home of the magical mountain o’pansies. Here at home, things aren’t spectacular on the grand scale, but there are many wonderful small things happening.
After a delayed but rousing start, the promise of a glorious spring at Hayefield has pretty much fizzled out, due to the unusually dry conditions. Though other places near here have been blessed with some of the wet stuff, our little corner of the county has received exactly 0.0 inches of rain in the last 3 weeks. On the whole, I prefer a spring that’s on the dry side; if there’s regular, abundant rain through April and May, the plants produce soft stems and lush leaves, then struggle once the usual summer dry spells start. But really, no rain is tough to deal with. Instead of planting and weeding, I’ve been spending most of my gardening time hand-watering the new grass paths. It’s keeping the seedlings alive, but even after a month, there’s still just a light green haze–except for some lush green patches where the Canada thistles are thriving (sigh).
After The Winter That Wouldn’t Die, we’re finally starting to get a taste of spring here in southeastern PA. It’s going to be a bit longer before there’s anything green and growing to appreciate, though, so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking instead. Mostly, my plans for the upcoming growing season have focused on how I can reduce some of the most resource-intensive areas so I can do a better job on the parts I really enjoy. A big part of that has been figuring out where those problem areas are, and how they got that way.