Field of Science

Gardening in a time of plague: Chapter 3

Summer is upon us, and so is a mild drought.  Our city is raising water rates, so it will be getting more expensive to keep gardens watered.  It takes a minimum of 1/2 inch of rain a week to keep gardens going.  Sensitive plants need more water, some are better at dealing with dry conditions than others.  Two senior citizens did manage to distribute 2.5 yards of wood mulch onto gardens and paths to make things  look much better. Several plants are candidates for relocation, but until the soil moisture gets better it is a risky undertaking.  The Phactors have decided that ostrich fern should be added to the list of never plant this plant.  It looks OK but it's rhizomatous and tends to take over whole gardens. 
New additions do get preferential treatment when is comes to water.  Until they get well rooted you have to keep watering them.  Nothing too delicate has been added to our gardens making it pretty easy to keep up.  A couple of small hostas are an exception but being small means watering them is not a major project. 
 A largish patch of Sorbaria, the so-called false Ural spirea, sort of looks like a sumac, but has fuzzy looking plumes of white flowers.  It's close to being on the do not plant this plant list; it is a spreader and was threatening to consume a neighbors' garage.  The trespassing portion was removed and a couple of hosta were found in the process. Unless you have room for such plants, do not plant them.
At least gardening gives us an outdoor activity and exercise.  And weeding helps you maintain a healthy frame of mine, giving the opportunity to get rid of poor choices without getting depressed over politics.  The amount of damage one person can do in just 3 years is hard to believe.  A niece is getting married in July and in October.  The earlier event if just too untimely for us presently and we hope things are better in 3 more months.  Sadly this is part of the havoc wrought by this pandemic.  And mostly all you can do is to keep the gardeners well supplied with margaritas, a nice self-sterilizing liquid.  A few people have visited to have a socially-distanced reprieve to break up the quarantine a bit.  It's outside and the gardens are big.  

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