Just because there is a heat wave on and a drought is tightening its grip on Oconee County doesn’t mean there is nothing to do in the garden. Just ask my wife. She will tell you there are plenty of things I need to be doing in the yard.
For instance, the gardenias, camellias and azaleas that make up the backbone of our foundation plantings need to be pruned. We had a good bit of rainfall this winter and the fertilizer I applied 4 weeks ago really kicked them in the cambium. There is a foot of new growth on the plants and they are starting to block my wife’s view from our porch swing. I tried to convince her that it was just because she was short and that I could see just fine but she wasn’t buying it.
The chore isn’t so bad I guess. I bought an electric hedge trimmer with an extendable handle a few years ago, and boy does it help. I can reach the top of those tall shrubs without climbing on a ladder. Being a little on the clumsy side I try to avoid climbing ladders at all costs.
I was informed the other day that the driveway needs cleaning, too. I just finished cleaning the house a couple of weeks ago and it made a big difference. I had considered buying some sort of pressure washer but gave up on that idea when I realized that I do not need another tool to maintain and store. I ended up buying a twenty dollar wand that attaches to end of the garden hose. It dispenses soap so I filled the little reservoir with bleach and hosed the house, the deck and the garden furniture with the diluted solution. A few minutes later I rinsed away the bleach and now the white paint of my house shines like snow in the sun. My wife wants me to give the driveway the same treatment.
Of course the vegetable garden and all of the decorative containers need watering. You know, when you are in the middle of planting all those plants in the spring and the weather is so nice and you are glad to be outside you forget to consider the work you are creating for yourself later in the summer. Every couple of days I water late in the evening so the plants have all night to hydrate. Plus it isn’t so danged hot out.
Oh, how can I forget the weeds that must be either pulled or killed. I have many paths throughout the garden and off into the woods that muscadine vines, sweetgum seedlings and greenbriar are constantly trying to conquer. I try to pull the weeds when I can but when it gets to be too much I resort to a general herbicide to clean up the pesky plants.
Yeah, there is always something to do in the garden. No matter the weather my wife can find me something to keep me busy outside. I am so grateful that I have someone who cares enough about me that she will take the time to find productive, useful and character building tasks to fill my free time so that I won’t fritter it away doing something silly like fishing.