It’s not really possible to plant ‘all year round plants’ directly into our ground – unless they are suited to being submerged for a couple of months! It has been suggested I grow rice in the off season. Normally around this time of year the ground is a soggy boggy mess but this year I thought it would be different.
It had been dry for weeks and strangely – while still damp – the soil in the raised beds had started to crack! I was able to mow around the beds and things were looking great. It would be an awesome start to spring – warm and dry. Until last week. Boy did it rain – and rain – and rain. A whole week of rain, with little chance of a let up. In the 10 day forecast with showers predicted for almost every day.
Now I need “boat shoes” to get about the garden. Actually it’s my gumboots I need. I had decided I didn’t need them any more this season and cast them aside (not upside down on the boot rack), preferring slip on gardening shoes. This hasty laziness had serious repercussions. Just when I needed them most, they had filled with water. There was nothing for it but to pour water out and put plastic bags in so my socks would stay dry.
Most of my gardening energies have been focussed on vegetables and edible crops as I learned to master the art of providing year round produce for our family and now I feel as confident as you can when there are variables such as weather, pest and disease, I have decided this season to explore the floral side of gardening.
I already have a small collection of spring bulbs and flowers in buckets with holes in the bottoms, up on my deck as putting them directly into the sodden soil would have as much chance of flowering as popping a dollar coin in the ground and growing a money tree (although one of those would be lovely).
I also have a small raised bed on the edge of the veggie patch that is loaded with spring bulbs and self-seeded poppy seeds. The rule of thumb is to sow poppies on ANZAC day in April and take time to remember those who gave their lives for us and then get a wonder display of red flowers in the spring and summer.
I have been so focused on the tulips and daffodils and other robust spring flowers that the thought of a flower that seems so delicate was far from my mind. Until the other morning when I looked out from my bed across to my garden. (The spring display is cleverly arranged so that it can be enjoyed every morning from the warmth and comfort of bed.) Well there it was – a splash of red! What could it be? I decided it must have been some rubbish blown there by the howling wind that accompanied the rain and decided not to get out of bed to investigate as the temperature had also dropped when the wind and rain came, and I wasn’t ready to allow my cosy feet to come in contact with the cold floor.
The wind and rain briefly died during the day and the sun came out for the shortest time and so I nipped outside to remove the “rubbish” only to find it was a beautiful – if not slightly bedraggled poppy.
Excited about the prospect of a fragrant sea of beautiful colour – I have sown heaps of flower seeds. I figure I now have 6 weeks to decide where to put them and then make raised beds so they don’t drown!
Come again soon – there may be a laugh of two to be had, watching me learn floral gardening!
Sarah the Gardener : o )