Friday, May 28, 2010

Salvaging a flooded garden

Today my daughter and I went out to re-plant our community garden plot. My son and I planted it first several weeks ago. Unfortunately, we had several bouts of heavy rains, the effects of which were a pond where my plot had been. Things have only just dried out.

Of the seeds we originally sowed, only carrots came up. Of the 24 seedlings started indoors and then planted (which included four varieties of heirloom tomatoes, three varieties of pepper plants, and several basil plants), only a handful of tomatoes have survived, and a few peppers. I say survived, but really, they are barely clinging to life and have not thrived at all. Well, you wouldn't either if you were trying to keep your head above water for two weeks.

We decided this time to plant everything in raised rows and mounds to raise them up out of the floodplain:

The bottom right corner is where the carrots have come up. They're still small. I'm waiting until they're bigger before I do major weeding so I don't accidentally pluck them out with the weeds:

We re-planted the Lima beans. They're a variety called Christmas Limas because the beans have read swirls in them. I started one plant at home in a small pot. We transferred it to the garden and sowed its neighbors directly into the mounded rows:

This is what the previous sowing looked like after the flooding. They never had a chance:

We have water and hoses available to us at the community gardens. But you don't always know how long it will take to untangle someone else's doings:

Here's our plot, all freshly planted. Only about half of the tomato cages on the left still have tomatoes struggling to grow within them.

After working away most of the day at the 'far-away' garden, as we've dubbed it, we came home, put the tools away, and went to enjoy the peony which is currently in bloom (The following is one of only two pictures that I took in this post. The other is the money plant picture at the end. All of the other photos were taken by my daughter.):

I just love it. The flowers are gorgeous. Click on any of the pictures to really see them up close and personal:

A pure delight:

Such beautiful colors coming together:

This little bud is so precious, dusted, I think, with pine pollen:

Ah! What more can I say?:

I am so grateful that I didn't get rid of these bushes several years ago like I had planned. They were scraggly, mixed in with a dying holly and a couple of juniper bushes. I ripped everything out and replaced them with other things, but instead of tossing the peonies, I decided to relocate them. They have thrived in their new home ever since, and I just love them. My white, frilly one will bloom any day now, and I can't wait. But for now, I'll enjoy these beauties:

And for a cool, green contrast, here's a parting shot of a back-lit money plant (aka silver dollar plant). We still have cottonwood fluff floating around and coating everything, as you can see:


jo said...

What a sad beginning to your alotment life.
And back-breaking to boot. Well, it can only get better. You will have to teach those hose users the ropes, won't you? I know from experience that it can take hours to untangle those knotted up.

Nice pictures from both of you. The simple peonies are lovely. Never saw those before. And now I know whom the sturdy legs belong to :-) Good for cycling, those calves. I am envious.

ICQB said...

Hi Jo!

Now that we've raised everything up, we'll hit a drought, I just know it :-)

Those calves are at least good for moving quantities of earth around with a shovel :-)

Yarrow said...

Love all your wonderful pictures and it's been great catching up with your blog. So sorry about the rain. That's happened to us several times, the worst being late in the year when we needed the sun to ripen the toms and instead they just rotted! It's not easy growing your own food, is it???

take care.x

ICQB said...

Hi Yarrow!

Sometimes the elements don't want to cooperate, and not much can be done about that.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Good luck with your plants especially when the weather doesn't cooperate. Would a sign help to ask for considerate hose users?? I love the peony pics.

ICQB said...

Hi Keats the Sunshine Girl!

The hose isn't often left like that - I think it was actually the people who mow the grass trying to get it up and away from the blades that caused this particular mess :-)