I was trying to think of something funny and witty for my title. But soggy is not good, but is the present state of my garden. I’m not really all that happy about it. I got so used to finally having lovely hot summer like days – even though it was technically autumn. I revelled in the fact it was too hot to sleep and the hum of the fan made a wonderful lullaby. It was energising to be greeted by the sun each morning and the chorus of the birds were drowned out by the cries of the cicadas who were already basking in the warmth of the day. Tending to the garden was a joy and a pleasure. It was too hot for weeds to grow so it was just a bit of primping and preening here and harvesting and sowing there, then coming in out of the midday sun for a bit of a break and back out again in the afternoon for even more gardening fun.
This is how it should have been all summer, but I accepted this autumn blessing and ran with it. Sadly, it came to an abrupt end. Wednesday started with a warning, a magnificent red glow lit up the dawn sky. The boffins had been jumping up and down suggesting we all brace ourselves for bad weather, but to be honest the sky was what really convinced me. The sky became progressively gloomier as the day wore on and then the heavens opened and started to rain. Big fat heavy drops. The ones that mean business and they dramatically fell to the parched earth. My garden received 55mm in the first 24 hours. Then we had a reprieve for a day, although the sun didn’t come back. Then it rained again and we receive another 85mm in a torrential period that seemed to last for hours then it eased back to a drizzle until the final pounding delivered another 23mm.
It was almost like nature was following the rules for rehydrating a parched soil… start slowly to break the dry crusty seal, then wait and allow it to soak in and create pathways deep into the soil. Then come back and water deeply on a ground more receptive to receiving moisture to the depths of the root zone and beyond. Then once more to make sure every last part of the dry soil is rehydrated.
Having said that – nature did leave the tap running a bit too long and created puddles and surface water across the garden. I have to say I have been guilty of this myself in the past so know how easy it can happen. You pop the sprinkler on, check the time and think I’ll just do these few chores, and come back and turn the tap off. Then half way through dinner, or even worse, you’re lying in bed and you sit bolt upright as you remember…”oh no… the sprinkler….!!!!”
So now the rain has gone, the garden is nicely hydrated, the sun is shining again, the cicadas are singing once more, but it isn’t the same. There is a barely perceivable chill that wasn’t there before. The surface of things maybe dry but there is a sogginess deep down. The tomatoes are completely bedraggled and makes you wonder if it is worth leaving them there. And the weeds have responded with great excitement to the rain and created a carpet of green wherever there was bare soil a week ago. There is a lot to be done, but the spring has long since gone from my step. There is no denying it now. We are in the final days of this growing season.
Come again soon – this doesn’t mean the garden comes to a halt, it is just different.
Sarah the Gardener : o)