Friday, June 5, 2009

Mother Nature's Not Cooperating

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm feeling a little down and discouraged today. On the other hand, this post will make all you gardeners in a more moderate climate feel grateful and appreciative of your lovely, growing, productive gardens.

We still can't talk Mother Nature into giving us any warm weather. Daytime temps only into the 50s and 60s, if we're lucky. (That is if you discount the wind chills.) Forties and more often down into the 30s at night. But that wouldn't even be so bad if it weren't for the wind. We've had strong winds (and I'm talking reeeally high winds) blowing for the better part of three weeks now. Not only are they drying out everything green and growing, but the wind-stress on plants is taking its toll.

My whole herb bed is either going backwards or suffering mightily to keep from croaking. The basil is gone. (Wonder if I can still find a couple of basil plants at this late date?)

My poor, poor California Poppies. The plants I started indoors have been laid flat (fallen and can't get up) and look so sad.

I planted all my window boxes out in white impatiens this year. These have grown progressively smaller in the two weeks since then.

But all is not lost . . . some things are doing okay. My three bleeding heart bushes, newly planted last year, are looking good. (Hmmmm, could it be because they like cool weather, don't require a lot of sun, and are planted in a protected nook?)

Comfrey, also, is doing well. ('Course, you can't kill the stuff off if you try. You can dig it up, pour concrete in the area where it was growing, and it will still come back up!)

The rhubarb is busy being prolific. (As are the strawberries in the background.)

Lots of healthy growth on the raspberry canes. They will need some sun and warm weather to ripen berries eventually though.

Still have about 2/3 (maybe more) of the garden to get in. The good news is we're not market gardening this year (thank heavens . . . I had spinach and lettuce last year on the 2nd of June; this year they've barely broken through the soil), and we won't starve even if the garden produces zilch. This difficult spring sure gives one a new understanding and empathy for what farmers deal with all the time.


  1. Ahhh, comfrey! I once made the foolish, foolish mistake of trying to eradicate a patch and reclaim it as an herb bed. Even though I dug the soil two feet deep and removed every visible trace of comfrey root, guess what came back, stronger than before? (Sorry about that, thyme, oregano, chives, marjoram, lovage, and alpine strawberry plants!)

  2. MaineCelt - Ah, yes, good ol' comfrey. If only it tasted as good as, say, fresh peas or corn on the cob! But I shouldn't knock it . . . it's a great medicinal plant.

  3. Hi, this is Jordan.
    So what do you DO with comfrey? I have a bunch of it taking over the old barn foundation.

    BTW: I did end up starting a blog, here:

    Thanks for the suggestion. It's good to write abot my beginner's mistakes, then let them go.

  4. Hi, Jordan! Truthfully, we don't do a lot with the comfrey. We feed some to our poultry, and use some for our own eating . . . the young, small, tender leaves only as when they get big, they are prickly, strong flavored and mucilaginous. Basically we just like having it around for its medicinal purposes.

    I'm really enjoying reading your blog! Would you mind if I listed it on my blog under Blogs I Visit?

  5. Hi - this is Jordan
    A permaculture person near here likes to use comfrey as a barrier around his gardens. He says grass can't get through. Sad to know it will be hard to control - sounds a bit invasive.
    Sure, you can list me on your Blogs I Visit. I'm having alot of fun writing it!