Mid-Summer : “Survival” Season Begins

For the last few days I have been gardening like crazy, but no matter how much time I spend out there, no matter how much time I carefully water and prune and shift and “prop”, everything looks really sort of hang-dog and raggedy and… well, *CRISPY*.

So, I started getting really frustrated today. I spent an hour and a half out in the garden, watering and trimming and cleaning things up, and when I was done it looked just the same as it did when I started. Maybe even a little worse.

I started getting antsy about it. The garden is where I go to be uplifted, where the sight of things thriving makes *me* want to thrive, too. But nothing is really doing great out there. Well, some things are doing well. But most things are just growing leaves, if anything.

I started wondering if maybe I needed to plant more… maybe take a trip to the nursery this weekend… and then, I realized: it’s mid-summer. Which means that “survival season” in the garden has officially started.

“Survival Season” is basically the time of year when it’s impossible for most anything to thrive here in Southwest Florida (including people). My responsibility, as a gardener, is to basically coax everything out there to survive until the weather cools down, the sun shines less intensely and more often, and the days get shorter. Then everything will pick up where it left off and come back to life.

Last year at this exact time I started feeling the same exact way. The garden looked desolate. So I started going to the nursery a few times a week.  They had amazing deals on plants- steals, practically. I bought lots, planted lots, would get the garden looking lush for a few days. And then things would begin to droop and turn brown and I’d repeat the cycle again and again.  I repeated it until October, when all the sudden I went out back one day and there was TOO much- not only did the new stuff *take*, but the old stuff seemed to come back to life overnight. And my garden doubled in size. I didn’t go to the nursery for MONTHS.

So I’m not going to do that this year. I’m just going to force myself to go into “Survival Gardening” mode- just do what I need to get the plants through the next few weeks. Maybe enjoy the down time (is that even possible? I really *do* like to garden, even though it’s nor particularly pleasant right now with the weather.)

I just need to remember that things are going to look a little rough for a while. And there’s nothing I can do about it. Until the autumn arrives, I’ll try and take pleasure in the tiny victories of the summer garden- shrimp plants blooming, succulents dividing, small summery blossoms popping up from time to time, and the sunflowers finally getting ready to bloom.

Comments 1

  1. misti wrote:

    I went to my garden last night for the first time in 1.5 weeks and let me tell you, it looks pitiful. The rains did a number and so has the heat. Ugh. But some things are thriving which I’m glad for.

    Posted 20 Jul 2012 at 10:02 am

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