Yikes, it's been 20 days since I've blogged. Thank you to those that emailed me your concern, I'm perfectly fine, just completely mortified at blogging about what has been going on out in the garden! Our weather has been just awful for a gardener, awful. We have had rain for about 25 of the past 29 days of this month, and the humidity is unbelievably high whenever it's not pouring. Nothing dries out, there is algae growing on the deck, even the city has given up making the place look nice for the tourists. There is no good time to mow with the ground soaked so there are piles of wet grass all over the streets and it's just disgusting. I hate grass. The mosquitoes are insane, when I let the dogs back inside after being out for 5 minutes they are at the back door with 20 mosquitoes swarming around their fur, getting a visual yet? Yuck.
So with that intro, I hope you won't be too shocked by what I'm about to show you - warning, these photos are disturbing!
The one above is overgrown for sure, but not compared to this (cringe)!
Yes, that's my garden.
Are you still here or did you run screaming for the hills? LOL, you would never know a "Master" (insert sarcasm) Gardener lives here.
Let's take a look at a previous year:
(this is last year, the same vantage point as above)
to quote Loch this year: "geez mom, what happened?"
Whose garden is that? I want to live there! I heard someone say the other day "can't wait until the weather breaks"...what? I think the weather has been broken all year!
Here's hubby on a rare night off contemplating actually going in there.
There are pathways in there. You don't see them? LOL, kind of like the word verifications these days, eh?
And he's in! He tore out all the tomato plants for me along with whatever else besides peppers there was still in there. I asked him to leave the peppers since I'm hoping to get one more canning day out of the jalapeños. Too much rain is definitely worse than not enough here since everything is just rotting and downright gross.
There is an OAK TREE growing in the pepper bed, I kid you not.
My lack of enthusiasm for keeping things neat and tidy this year has apparently extended to potatoes, who needs soil? LOL
And look at my neighbor fixing what he hasn't been doing!
He's been through 3 lawnmowers in the past week trying to mow this - I'd be mad except that I've seen a few McMansion type neighborhoods that have given up on the wet grass too. This is pretty insane though, even we were able to keep up with mowing - although we went through about 1000 gallons of DEET.
There has been an upside to all of this neglect however, I have been getting more actual cooking and canning done than in usual years. In normal years where I actually take care to maintain the garden and have it look "pretty" I end up working outside so much that my harvest sometimes rots on the counter and has to be discarded. With the awful heat and humidity this year I have been literally dashing out there for 5-10 minutes to collect (or forage, in my case!) what's ready and spending the rest of the day processing and not worrying about what it looks like. Nobody is going out there to enjoy the steamy scenery anyway! Make sense? Well, that's the story I'm telling anyway.
Another major downer - I am supposed to be at the Minnesota State Fair today.
I didn't even mention on here that we were planning a vacation home because I had a feeling it would go down like this. Hubby's leave request was denied at the last minute and instead of eating random stuff on a stick I am blogging about my mess. The guy has 73 days of leave on the books. That's essentially not having a day off in 2 years. We haven't been home to see family since Christmas 2010. Not for lack of trying, but the squadron says "they need him". I'm waving the B.S. flag here, give me a break. Meanwhile, the guys not doing the work are going on leave. I love the Navy but come on, these guys that deploy constantly deserve to have a vacation at least yearly. It's "use it or lose it" too, so it's not like someday he can just take 2 months off, but wouldn't that be nice?! Deployment is coming up quickly for this winter, so his hours are insane now. He averages 14-16 hour days and also working weekends now and will be in and out doing pre-deployment "workups" (trips to the desert for bombing practice or to the ship for carrier practice) from now until he leaves. Most Navy spouses agree that this 6 month period before a deployment is the worst since they are not "deployed" so not getting deployment pay either, but are never here. In and out, in and out - at least once the real deal gets underway, we can get a schedule together for our kids and have a new normal. Oh well, I've done it more times than I can count so all I can say is "here we go"!
If we want to see Daddy these days we have to go here
What the hey? We went to go bring him dinner the other night and I realized these tourists get to see my husband more than we do LOL.
So there's the bad, in all it's soggy, wet, messy honesty. I mostly want any new gardeners to know that you will have ups and downs, and this year has been an awful one. Don't be discouraged by any tears brought on by this summer's beating, just chalk it up to another year of experience and hope for a better year next year. That's what we are all doing, dealing with 2012 P.T.S.D. :)
Thanks for hanging in there and not abandoning me on your Reader, I have just been kind of depressed and overwhelmed by the awful state of the garden and busy month and prefer to blog as a creative outlet when I'm feeling good - next post will concentrate on what I HAVE been doing, for a lighter fare!
And oh, MN/WI/IA friends - will someone please get over there and eat something on a stick for me asap?!
Geezloueez, Erin. What an awful season! Your garden looks like an offshoot of the rainforest, and mine looks like someone put it in the oven and forgot to turn it off, and sprinkled it liberally with powdery mildew. Let's hope this is the worst of it for a long time. We need some normal weather! Even with the gawdawfulness, it is good to hear from you. :^)ReplyDelete
pssst - someone should tell the Navy that slavery has been illegal for YEARS...
Susan, ha - look, it's been so long since I've blogged I forgot how to "reply", it's below :)Delete
Oh, I feel your pain! I'm missing the State Fair too, because of crazy work stuff. But at least I'm not forced to work those insane hours that your hubby does. I certainly hope he is able to retire early after all of the extra time he's putting in. But that doesn't help when you want deep fried cheese on a stick right now!ReplyDelete
Wow! You're human!ReplyDelete
Abandon you? You'd have to shoot me to get rid of me, LOL! The garden is a thing. It will be back next year with a vengeance, so you'll have another chance at it. Take care of the humans and pets, and try to survive what remains of the summer. We love you, even if your garden is a mess :-D
Oh, I did eat a Hawaiian Burger and Curly Fries at the fair. I took a couple of extra bites just for you. Oh, how I can lie...*snort*
Gran, thanks - I would have enjoyed that Hawaiian Burger thoroughly! :)Delete
I'm sorry your gardening wasn't as successful this year. Mama N. definitely had it in for a lot of us this year... Hope your hubby will be able to take some time off before the deployment. It really doesn't seem fair that he has to work so hard and so long and not get any time off to spend with the family.ReplyDelete
Anke, yes if we wanted "fair" I guess we are in the wrong career path LOLDelete
Susan, a rainforest for sure! I'm afraid of Water Moccasins too, so now it's hubby's problem LOL. He doesn't have much time to help out there but he's been a real trooper going out at night when the mosquitoes are terrible and ripping things out for me, then once the rain stops (if ever) I will do the rest and get some lettuces in, something well behaved :) The Navy sure isn't winning any popularity contests with the military members these days with their downsizing, 5 or 6 am until 8 or midnight is now the new normal.ReplyDelete
Well, even a Master Gardener can't work miracles if the weather doesn't cooperate. It sounds like this year it was a wonder you got anything at all. I sure hope this erratic swings in the weather isn't the new normal, climate change run amok. It's been very strange here in Indiana too, but certainly better than yours. Prayers that you and your family have some good time with the hubby sometime very soon.ReplyDelete
Trailshome, I've been thinking about you :) Let's hope we all have better weather the next time around!Delete
You can't fight the weather. Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel. Like you said it's been a challenging year for you for gardening so why be depressed about it, it's not your fault. At least you have other hobbies and interests to keep yourself busy, plus those two boys of yours must keep you pretty busy.ReplyDelete
I hope your hubby can get a bit of time off before he's off on deployment. One would think the military would understand about burn-out and mental health but sounds like they work their folks till they drop.
Sparkless, I threw in the whole King size quilt this year LOL, done, and done! Maybe this will be the year I get to actually DO some of those other hobbies I profess to have hahaha!Delete
Drought one place, soggy deluge another. This year just s.u.c.k.s., don't it? Chin up chickie, we know you'll just pull your big girl panties on and march right through it (mucky wet grass and all)! Just don't forget your skeeter repellent!ReplyDelete
CR, isn't that crazy? I see photos of others' dry & cracked ground and I think "if only"! Oh well... I think my big girl panties went up a couple of sizes this year!Delete
So THAT is where all my rain has been. I frankly do not think that garden looks bad. As long as food came out of it, that is all that matters.ReplyDelete
Thanks Jane, I knew you would understand - you are most impressed by the end result I think and I actually did get more preserved than I usually do, I haven't even updated my "tally" yet you have reminded me I need to do that :)Delete
I think we're all on that same boat....and I am SO ready for autumn to come and the gardening year to be done. You'll get that place whipped back into shape once the weather cools (and dries!!!).ReplyDelete
I fully remember living in HELL-inois with the mosquitoes so thick you couldn't be outside at all. Miserable. Best to you, dear Erin. It will quit soon.
Sue, I'm already thinking up some ideas for quilt patterns I'd like to make, let the leaves fall and the pumpkins be carved, I'm ready! I will absolutely be out there cleaning it all up, but I'm waiting for jeans and flannel shirt weather, and no mosquitoes to do it!Delete
I know this summer has been super-rough on you because you ARE such a master gardener and the conditions have just been totally out of your control. (Which also makes it hard on you, our little self-professed O.C.D.er!) Add the situation with your hubby on top of that? Well, a lesser woman wouldn't be standing. I'm serious, you've had one heckuva awful load on your shoulders. This pre-deployment stuff is not wise or healthy.ReplyDelete
You should know by now that we don't care if you mitch and boan on a rare blog post or two. We're here if that helps. Whatever you have to share, we're always glad to hear from you. Sending hugs and lotsa love to all of you and the two pups.
Mama Pea, that's exactly why I've been down in the dumps I think, because I am such a Type A... when things don't go as planned I just shut down and feel beaten. I need a Plan B LOL. I definitely do know however, that this will be a knitting/sewing/quilting kind of year - I'm already knitting and scheming up plans for the other two :)Delete
Not as wet over in western part of the state but I have been cutting huge weeds out of the garden and feeding them to the calf. The grass almost got ahead of me but I have a high mower that went through it. We have mosquitoes but not as bad as what you have. I leave water setting out for them to lay eggs in then dump it out before they can grow, kind of a baby trap I guess. The weather will break in a few weeks.ReplyDelete
Sunnybrook, I'm glad your mosquitoes aren't too bad, that kind of thing can drive you right over the edge. I hope you have a great fall color show in your part of the state, we will have to travel that way to see the leaves since we have just scrub pine here with a peek here and there of color :)Delete
From Jo: Oh, I feel your pain! I'm missing the State Fair too, because of crazy work stuff. But at least I'm not forced to work those insane hours that your hubby does. I certainly hope he is able to retire early after all of the extra time he's putting in. But that doesn't help when you want deep fried cheese on a stick right now!ReplyDelete
Jo, I got your comment via email but for some reason don't see it on here. That's too bad you are missing the fair too but you definitely have bigger things going on right now. Wait... is there anything bigger, more important, more significant and life changing than eating the worlds biggest cheese curd? No. No, there's not. Ha! My poor hubby was so looking forward to our trip, he's never been to any state fair, and I was planning on breaking him in with the world's BEST! :)Delete
oh my ,I'm so so sorry about all that ,be afraid ,very afraid of the killer mosquitoes,I kid you not .one person died in MN of West Nile.I'm sure you've had your share too,as far as the MN fair is concerned ,I'll send you a picture of my grandson outside the bubble pit -he made it on TV-since we aren't friends on FB ,I'll send it via WESLEY,you can say you knew someone who knew someone else who actually went to the fair,---hoping for a better time for you.ReplyDelete
well, that was dumb,I can't share the picture but i'm sure you don't mind -you have boys ,one looks just like another-lolReplyDelete
My garden looks like yours, all overgrown. The difference is that mine is from too much heat.ReplyDelete
We actually did have a lot of rain one day last week, 3 inches in our area. We live in the Las Vegas Valley and only get about 6 inches in a year. When it rains even 1 inch we flood like crazy. The rain just runs off and doesn't soak in. Our brand new church building that was finished in March flooded. The flood took out all the utilities, the road in front, and part of the foundation. You just never know what it is going to do when it rains here. When it starts raining really hard it floods within minutes. If you are out driving you have to stop and wait for the rain to drain away. Crazy!
Peggi, that's a lot of rain for you! My SIL lives in Phoenix and it seems they have gotten more than usual this year also.Delete
I agree with Peggi above. My garden is also overgrown. But more because it was so, terribly hot for so long that I didn't get out to weed much. Plus it was so dry that nothing was growing anyway. Then, of course, the week we were gone on vacation we got nearly 2 inches of rain and everything suddenly exploded. I've been trying to whack my way through the head high lambs quarters plants along the edge of the garden but it's slow going. After a week or so of cooler weather we've been back into the 90's recently along with high humidity. I feel your pain.ReplyDelete
And PTSD from the 2012 garden season is so, so right. Hang in there.
Oh, and we're not going to the MN state fare (and Iowa's is over) but we are going the the Midwest Old Settler's and Thresher's Reunion this weekend. I'll be sure to get something on a stick for you.Delete
Judy, I have lamb's quarters like that too, like a tree trunk LOL!Delete
Hang in there! At least you have an excuse. I'm just a shlump. But your foraging is pretty wonderful!!ReplyDelete
Stefaneener, yes, I waited for the full 30 days of rain to pass before knowing that I had an excuse when I posted photos haha!Delete
Thanks Erin. The season's been nearly as bad here, but completely opposite. NO HEAT! I've just about given up on my green tomatoes and decided to rip them out rather than continue to stress about ripening them sometime before Christmas. Hoping next year is better for both of us.ReplyDelete
AnywhereEden, oh no, sorry you aren't getting ripe tomatoes. Seems to be one extreme or the other this year, at least you are in good company here - everyone is shedding tears over 2012, we won't soon forget this one!Delete
This post brought me encouragement. My tomatoes pooped out, but are now blossoming again so I didn't tear them out. My peppers are JUST NOW starting to produce. My cukes didn't produce at all (withered and died!) I'm hoping it goes better with the lettuce and carrots and radishes I just planted. This was my first real garden here (when we moved in last August I inherited beautiful pepper plants and lots of herbs) and while the cabbage, broccoli, and carrots did great last fall, the spring and summer have left much to be desired!ReplyDelete
Lanette, wow it's nice you are just starting with peppers, mine are mostly all done except the jalapeños, what a strange year! My tomatoes don't stand a chance at reblossoming since I yanked them LOL.ReplyDelete
I just found your blog and have to tell you what a lovely garden you have, even the overgrown one. I've been there and done that! I work full-time, so I have to make good use of my time, and when it comes down to preserving the food I worked so hard to produce or make my garden look picture perfect, I choose to preserve the food.ReplyDelete