Marty's Gardening Journal, June 28th, 2010

As temperatures have gone up, I have remained active outdoors. I pull out a weed here and there; shore up a few plants spilling across neighbors, a bit of tidying up. And while I am outdoors, I notice I am just about the only one. Neighbors have retreated into their air-conditioned houses; kids undoubtedly are playing computer games indoors rather than play outside. Sunday I spent some time on a shaded, comfortable bench gazing up at swaying branches. Birds called out to each other, insects buzzed, but the rest of the world is quiet. Having moved out to the suburbs to have some property, a garden, I find it ironic that few people venture outdoors once the temperatures go up. As the gardening season geared up, dads busy themselves keeping lawns fertilized, watered and mowed to a perfect green, while kids play in the street or sit on the stoop.
view from under the willow tree - lazy sunday

 The pond, with lily pads growing in all directions, is once more home to koi. Four smaller koi fish were bought once we got back from Holland and this past Friday a fifth one was added. A week ago the fish spawned; now I spot a few baby fish swimming among the lilies. One, already an inch long, ventures further out in the pond. However, it seems to be smart enough to stay away from the current which would carry it to the filter and probable death.


pond with fish July 2010











Some dahlia tubers, that bulbous root part of the plant, were taken out of their pot last fall and spent the winter in the garage, waiting for better days to be re-potted. I quite forgot about these tubers and in late May I came across them; a bit shriveled up. They were given a nice size container and within days the first green leaves sprouted. Soon there will be flowers and the plant can take center stage again.



In the evenings I water potted plants. One day the ones in front get watered, the next day those in the back get their turn. Two potted chrysanthemums, gifts from a friend years ago, come back every year. Standing on either side of the shed on the side of the house, I have a tendency to forget them. Thankfully they catch a bit more shade and have never wilted to the point of no return. All mums in the garden are pruned back by a third twice before June 21st. Once, in mid spring they get a haircut, followed by another cut about four weeks later. Each cut branch will sprout several side branches, and each of these, once cut, will grow more side branches. In time you will have a compact plant which will bloom with many, many flowers in late summer, early fall. But I am not rushing the seasons.  Although hot and dry, I am enjoying each day. A much shortened workweek in the corporate world, two days, rather than four, allows me to go into a different direction. Now I design, work outside, dig in soil AND get paid for it, while holding on to a thin corporate lifeline.


Each day brings a new challenge; every day once gone, will never come back. Go outside, let your senses take over and enjoy the moment. Its simple enjoyment may surprise you.