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Gardener’s Best Friend

June 6, 2010

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Now that the rainy season is over and the heat is on, daily changes are taking place in and around the garden. Lately, at the end of each day, my vegetable plants are taller and fuller. Yum! I can’t wait to taste my labor. More perennial blossoms are bursting into a mini florist shop. The soil is hot and dehydrated. I need to water regularly now. With this comes the weeds, but my “give and take” mulch will make plucking them a breeze. Humming birds have returned for a sugar high, which means ants and aphids too. There’s always a challenge amongst seasonal change.

When the sun is heavy, I make appointments with garden chores. Here in the valley the temperature often reaches triple figures. On those days, I finish outdoor work by eight in the morning and take it up again after seven in the evening.

My husband, Joe, recently dug a trench, laid PVC pipes, and connected it to a cooper feed line with two hose bibbs. One for the veggie bed and one for the beans planted nearby. Each bibb has a battery-operated timer connected to a drip system. If I haven’t written this before, I’m writing it now, TIMERS and DRIP SYSTEMS ARE A GARDENER’S BEST FRIEND. With these two in place, you can take a vacation and still know that your plants are ingesting water. When you’re home, you don’t have to make numerous jaunts outdoors to move a water hose, check for runoff, or broken moats. The mileage is good on one’s physique, but watering is oftentimes problematic for busy schedules.

Yes, I am a gardener of convenience. Why not? If done correctly, there’s more time for hammock naps, reading and writing—never mind the arithmetic, I’ve been out of school for years—and daydreaming.

As summer progresses, my plants will continue to evolve. Life will expand in splendor in ways only gardeners and the earth understand. Gardens are ever-changing, especially this time of the year. It’s exciting to watch, to anticipate what tomorrow will bring to maturing vegetables, annuals, and perennials. I hope you are able to get out and enjoy the fruitfulness of your labor, and meet garden challenges head-on with a little convenience this year. Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre

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