|The grape vine seems to love the drought.|
We know with certainty that no gardener planted a garden with the hope that eventually she
could water by hand day after day and still watch the plants die from lack of water.
“Oh please, please, no rain. I like to provide all the water for my garden myself”, was never spoken by any gardener that I’ve ever known.
I know I didn’t sign up for constant watering when I decided to be a gardener. (Yes, I know I decided to be a gardener when I was about five years old and getting to hold the hose and water was fun back then. But if I had known then what a drought was, I know I would not have wanted it for my garden.)
I planted a garden for a thousand other reasons besides wanting to water. Yet, I find myself watering day after day and see that in spite of my best efforts, some plants are probably not going to survive the Extreme Drought. Or, if they do survive, they’ll be smaller than before and will need a few good seasons to catch up.
But now that I’m in a drought recovery program, which yes, I am making up as I go along, I won’t be forever watering my garden. I’m moving on, adjusting, and taking the drought in stride because nothing is going to keep me from gardening and I refuse to let gardening look mostly like watering. No more hand wringing for me. No more wondering when it is going to rain again. I’m recovering now!
Can I get an “amen”? Thank you.
The first step in recovery from a drought is to go back to the beginning and remember why it was you planted a garden and what you hoped your garden would be once you had established it. Perhaps just as important, what did you imagine yourself doing in your garden? (If you imagined yourself sitting in the shade of your weed free garden, drinking iced tea and reading a book, I assume you also imagined hiring help to do some of your gardening for you.)
I remember that I used to garden a bit haphazardly. I planted a vegetable garden. I had some flower borders. I planted trees and shrubs. But it wasn’t turning out to be the garden I wanted it to be. So I thought about it all one winter and wrote down what I wanted my garden to be, which became my gardening goals. Then I worked with a garden designer to come up with a design that helped me achieve my goals.
That was two years ago. Between the garden designer and I, with help from several others, I’ve made great strides toward those goals in those two years.
Tonight, I’m reviewing my garden design posts again to remind myself what I want my garden to be because I know without that idea of what I’m trying to achieve, i.e. some goals, what’s the point of all the watering? (No, surviving the drought is not a goal. Remember, we are recovering, moving on.)
With my gardening goals fresh in my mind, I’ll move on to the next step in my drought recovery program.
If you are playing along at home, think about why you garden, what you want your garden to be, and what you want to do when you are out there gardening. Start with goals. Then we can discuss the next step in drought recovery.