Today is the 180thday of 2018, and ninety -eight degrees hotter than it was six months ago. As the New  Year dawned, it was 2 degrees. Today, it  felt like almost 100 degrees – and tomorrow and the next day will be triple digit scorchers!


gardening in 98 degrees

Tonight, though, we enjoyed a little gardening, and a lot of watering. The day’s heat wilted even the hardy zinnias. Not sure they will revive.

We have had so much rain throughout the spring, watering has not been a fixed chore. But I am doing it differently because of a suggestion. I water the base of the plants; more time consuming certainly. However,   gentle steams of water at the base of plants is more efficient and effective when the sun beats down.

Bending so low means getting a close look at the hardy weeds blossoming in the heat. The sun doesn’t wilt them! Not a bit!  The crab grass invading the beds is tenacious, in the baked soil, reminding me of a summer chore I hated.

My father kept a paring knife stuck in an old crab basket, one that carried a half-bushel of crabs from the docks in downtown Baltimore to Stoneleigh, for annual crab feasts. At least once a week, he would patiently dig out the crab grass, from the lawn, sometimes filling half a basket in an evening.

Why did he think I would enjoy that?

We didn’t have Prozac back then, and I am guessing that plunging the old knife under those pesky roots and pulling out  a spindly green invader gave him a reprieve from all the invasive upside world the late 1950’s and early 60’s were.

When overwhelmed and stressed and unable to think,
I go out and garden, it’s cheaper than a shrink. ~Author Unknown

Tending growing things, feeding, watering, trimming is purposeful and pleasurable, mostly — even in ninety-eight plus degrees.  It teaches paying attention to living things other than oneself.

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come. ~Rudyard Kipling, “The Glory of the Garden

No matter the greenness of my old thumb. watering and weeding are antidotes to worry.  Being productive in miniscule motions – is a gift, a blessing, a treasure that becomes more valuable than I ever understood watching my father weed his lawn.

So, too, gardening is a privilege, keeping the ledge over my kitchen sink in flowers.

Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden. ~Robert Brault


Flowers on the Ledge

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