Monday, June 24, 2019

A Rainy June

I'm not a weather expert, so I never know whether Ohio weather is just that variable, or if we're seeing an El Nino or La Nina, or if it's climate change making a difference. All I know is that our weather is absolutely unpredictable. You've often heard me say that someone seems to put up a dome over our town every summer, which stops the rain from getting to us. Well this year, they forgot to put up the dome. Boy did they ever! We're way above average in Ohio and much of the Midwest, to the point where some farmers weren't even able to plant.

It's been hard for me to be grateful for the difference, because of course I wished for a normal amount of rain, not a deluge. I plant drought tolerant varieties mostly because I hate dragging a hose around my garden. They might not be so happy this year. I already had a container garden that literally drown itself for lack of drainage. It's not like me to buy a container without a drain hole, but I fell victim this time.

Of course there are plants that seem to be enjoying the extra rain. You know the weeds are loving it! The only good thing about that is how easily they are pulled from the soggy ground.

I am starting to see butterflies and hummingbirds, which always make me smile. I've even gathered a few monarch eggs and caterpillars to raise indoors, although I have yet to see an actual monarch butterfly. I find that quite odd. Obviously they've been here!

The rainy weather often prevents me from enjoying my after dinner veranda time. I know, it's a patio, not a veranda. But hubby likes to think of it as a veranda, so we treat it as such. After dinner, we go out with books to read, cold drinks, and of course my camera. Many of my favorite shots have come from veranda time.

I wish that I had thought to record the contents of my rain gauge over time. Sure, I can get precipitation amounts from Weatherbug, but I never believe those numbers. You see, I want to know the rainfall at my house, not the airport. Next year, I'll start doing this.

It will be interesting to see if the rainy trend lasts throughout the summer. We've had a few wet years, but we usually have dry summers. This has topped them all. I'm sure the lawn and trees are grateful, and they're certainly greener than green. But I wonder if that green will last all summer long. I know for sure I'm appreciating the fact that I don't have to drag that darned hose around.

Let it rain, I guess, but maybe with more moderation?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

May Flowers Indeed

Let's see what's happening in Robin's Nest in this merry month of May, shall we? Here's a clue. LOTS

I know spring is usually wet here in Central Ohio, but this year it's been exceptionally wet. It can be frustrating when I want to go out and work, but it's too wet. But overall, it's wonderful because it turns the world bright green. Also, our summer generally turns dry, so it's good to have the boost of a wet spring to start us off right.

We've also been a roller coaster of temperatures. It was chilly, then it was hot, then it was chilly, then it was hot. I'd say we are about a week, maybe two behind our normal time table for the month of May. The vegetable garden went in late this year, and the containers were all filled a bit late too. But it's done now. I always like to record the start of my containers, even though they might look a little sparse at this point. Later I always compare to see how far they've come.

There's a certain exuberance to the May garden, don't you think? Everything is strongly green and lush at this point. For the most part, the bugs haven't yet started to munch, and the diseases haven't started. Let's just say that the month of May is like a young adult, still in the prime of life.

It's also a time when new flowers open frequently. But I think I said the same thing about April. Well, I suppose that's what spring is all about, isn't it?

I'm finally seeing the roses starting to bloom this year. It seems that most years, my roses suffer greatly from winter dieback. That means spring is a true do over for them. After winter you'll often hear me say "Oh, my roses are half dead, they'll never bloom this year!" Luckily I'm always wrong about this. My theory about why roses do poorly here is that our winters are just as cold as Michigan winters ever were, but we don't get enough snow to insulate the rose roots from the cold. I  wonder if I'm right.

May always seems frantic to me, as I gather and plant everything. I'm a planner, so over the winter I start making plans and drawing sketches of how I want everything to look. This year I even went so far as to make an exact list of every plant I needed to buy, and where they were all going to go. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it is a pleasant way to "garden" during the winter.

June is almost here, which means my life slows down a little. Many of my scheduled activities go on hiatus, giving me more time to spend in the garden. I'm not always gardening in the garden. Sometimes I'm just wandering through, taking pictures, or simply resting on the patio with a good book. It's a time that I treasure.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. You'll have to come back next month to see what's happening in the June nest. We'll talk again then.