It’s hard to decide. Am I a very resourceful citizen or simply a reality-show hoarder? I am loath to toss anything that could have a future use. I may need to move into a tiny apartment with no room to store anything. I have always loved the story of children coming home to close up their late mother’s home. They discovered a box labeled, “string too short to save.”
What could this possibly have to do with gardening, you ask? I started several flats of seeds and neglected them right up to the moment of imminent death. I still cannot toss them into the compost. I flopped the entire flats into the rectangular holes on the edge of the vegetable beds. If one or two make it – so be it!
The multi-flora roses are still beginning to pass. They are remarkably weedy and prolific. One time, around 30 years ago, I was involved in a community garden project. It was quite large, perhaps three acres. We planted the entire perimeter with the aforementioned rose. We hoped to keep out deer and other predators. Because fertilizer was used in the beds and it received plenty of water, boy, did it take off. I pity the next owners of that plot. The removal must have been daunting.
Sadly, my strawberry bed is finished producing massive amounts. I must put it on my fall “to do” list. It has to be taken apart and moved to a new location. It has exhausted the soil in the past few years. Hopefully, I’ll replant the area with winter rye or pile on some manure for the winter.
I had a large stand of foxgloves reseed in my compost. They are easily six feet tall because of the richness of the soil. I try to leave a few stacks uncut in various flowerbeds to encourage reseeding for next spring. If you cut more off the spent flower head, smaller blooms will come along for another few weeks.
Speaking of cutting, I try to keep shrubs under some sort of control, especially if they are too close to walkways or the house. I hate it when they rub on the house, damaging the shingles. Please try to avoid the use of hacking and whacking in reference to pruning. It is best to follow a branch to its base and remove the whole thing. You will not notice its absence. And the bush will look better. You can take more than you think, as it will grow rapidly after pruning.
Most of the summer folks will be arriving by the end of the month. Welcome back! Everyone needs to practice patience, let others ease into traffic and give a friendly hand waggle to those who do the same for you.
The Berubes — Karen and David —deliver my New York Times to the vegetable garden. I love it. It’s a great read during a break. Last week I mentioned a mystery critter eating all my broccoli plants. David slipped a note into my paper a few days ago. He reported seeing a turkey lingering around the fence. Bingo. That must be the culprit. She can get over an eight-foot fence effortlessly. It’s always something. I remember my friend, Sharlee, being troubled by a turkey in her garden. He would walk right up and over the fence. She compared it to having a dinosaur on the property. I ate one of the roaming turkeys once. He was a fresh road kill right in front of me. I am surprised I didn’t hesitate – tossed him in the truck, came home, put water on to boil and prepared him for cooking. It was tasty but much smaller than you would expect. We are used to the factory-raised breeds. I was pleased to get free food and that his life was not in vain. Don’t forget, I’m an Appalachian mountain girl by birth.
I love reading Gail Collins’ column in the New York Times. She cracks me up every time she works in the dog-on-the-car-roof story of Mitt Romney. Last Saturday, she wrote one entitled Running on Empty.
She says our biggest political discussion is the war between the empty places and the crowded ones. People in crowded places tend to appreciate government. It sets boundaries on public behavior, protects them from criminals and keeps the streets clean.
The Tea Party is so empty places. Take Texas, please! With a population of almost 26 million, they still think they live on the lone prairie. The last state-wide election to select a democrat was in 1994.
So we end up with Mitt Romney as the nominee. Maybe he will one-up Rick Perry and find four federal agencies to close. Better yet, maybe he will bag a moose.