Saturday, October 1, 2011

strikes and gutters

The success of our plantings this first year in Maryland has been pretty hit or miss. For some reason - maybe it's human nature - I tend to focus on the failures. Our big (read expensive) cherry tree died - twice. The nursery replaced it once free of charge, but now it's just a loss to us. We have subsequently decided that exact spot probably isn't a good place for a tree. The butterfly bush barely survived the torrents of rain that fell, and we don't know if it will make it through the fall and winter in its weakened condition.The tomatoes and peppers were fabulous while they lasted, but the excessive rains of late August and all of September, really, killed the plants dead. So our vegetable season was early, but short. Alas that I won't pick another cherry tomato and eat it fresh from the vine until next July!

Our potted plants did not fare well, either. The geraniums I planted and placed on the front steps were in poor soil, and I knew it. They didn't even struggle, really, and the leaves turned yellow right away and they stopped flowering. Ben saved them by re-potting them and putting them somewhere else, but we had no flowers in the front of the house all summer. The flowers I planted in the big concrete container looked great the day I planted them, and never after. One of them is blooming now - in October. When the violas were played out, I bought mums to replace them. It seemed like they were dying from the day Ben planted them. I don't know why.

That being said, our passion flower bloomed this year like never before, and the mandevilla looks positively tropical, with its glossy, dark green leaves and huge, bright pink flowers. My mail order roses are climbing the fence in record time, and haven't stopped growing since we planted them, I think. The willow we planted has loved the wet weather, needless to say, and yesterday I noticed that I have flowers blooming outside both of my bedroom windows. How nice is that?

So I will try to swallow my disappointment over this year's growing season, but it's a process, you know? First I have to be disappointed and pissed off, then, after a while, I will be able to say, okay, what worked and what didn't? What should we do differently next year? Because, after all, it is our first year here.


Liz said...

I guess that it's just a learning process. Sounds like the weather there has been pretty extreme this year, though. Hopefully it will be more "normal" next year.

anne mancine said...

I think if I had anything else going on in my life right now - a JOB, for example - this wouldn't matter so much.

jamanci said...

i feel like the gutters took up more of your post here than the strikes, even though most everything in your backyard thrived, and did it for most of the summer!

i think you'd better exercise that "staying positive" thing a little more. ;) that was definitely the best vegetable garden ever, and the sweet peas really were a revelation. :)