Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays (Tuesdays, Wednesdays,…)

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family.

No doubt you can identify as I explain that I am having trouble typing this little piece. It seems my fingers will not stretch as far as days past; they have become webbed. This doesn’t bother me half as much as the need to cancel my much deserved pedicure appointment. I can walk around with my hands in my pockets when not working but displaying webbed feet to the person who already has the daunting task to create pretty toes would just add insult to injury. I called and told them I was a little under the weather. They offered me a raincheck.

Yes, all this rain has left us and everything else a little damp. Bath towels must be removed from the dryer just before the shower in order to do their allotted task. The paper for my printer is limper than my spirits. At this point, if we stand still too long we will begin to grow mold. Like a stone, we must roll to gather no moss.

I am empathetic for exterior house painters and roofers who are not able to work in this weather. Those whose livelihood is the tourist trade must not only contend with the outrageous gasoline prices, now can add mother nature as a player in the blame game. At least I have been able to work most days, drawing the line with the first rumble of thunder or sinking in the mud causing more harm than good. As was the case earlier this week when attempting install plantings to a newly revived hillside.

Every cloud has a silver lining; the containers planted earlier this season have not dried to near death between visits. Lawns are a lush golf course green; without the need for irrigation, rainwear is much more fashionable and Wellies come in many colors and patterns. Me—it’s all about being green. I opt for the traditional boot as worn across the pond. I’d be remiss in not mentioning the easy work of weeding in this weather, especially the grasses and other undesirables that poke through the cracks in walkways and patios, my focus of the week. Best of all, everyone is having a bad hair day.

Alas, into every life, a little rain must fall, the rain being SLUGS and SNAILS. When it rains it pours! They are everywhere. To see one is just a drop in the bucket. These machines of slime and degradation seem to be enjoying their own (under the) ‘rock concert’. I am labeling it ‘Slug Fest 2008’. I can almost see them now, frolicking in the mud not unlike the infamous Woodstock. Bet the buggers are even chowing on hallucinogenic mushrooms. It would be the only way they could find each other attractive. Of that is right, they are hermaphrodites. How horrible!

This is one subject I didn’t expect to broach in August yet I felt the need to remind fellow gardeners of our duty to maintain the fight against the menacing mollusk.
This spring I wrote on the need to keep beds clean of debris to offer less hiding places for these slime machines. As in April, August is calling for aggressive action. Remove fallen flora, cut back stalks and stems, and relegate them to the compost bin sooner than later. When the dry weather returns, sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth near the ‘dears’ favorite haunts and plants. This and other related products are available at a favorite family gardening center near you.

Not much more to add, I just wanted to get my 2-cents in. No doubt, I’ll return, rain, or shine.

Until then, keep a stiff upper lip, the sun will come out tomorrow*.

Epilogue: In an effort not to have the song from Annie* etched in my brain I am stuck between a rock and hard place in deciding which Beatle classic to hum; ‘Tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun or ‘Here comes the sun…’
Which would you choose? The ball is in your court……..

KCB for Skillin's Greenhouses
August 10, 2008

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