Thursday, May 26, 2011

Soggy Spring Crazies

I went to the dentist this week for a routine cleaning.  I almost forgot about the appointment; it was on the one day we didn't have any rain for about five minutes.  I had to quickly run from the garden to wash up and get ready to go (along with the obligatory flossing, yeah, that will fool the dental hygienist into thinking I floss every day, right?  Well, I try to remember, truly I do.)

When I arrived at the dentist's office and the receptionist's desk, she handed me a clipboard containing a questionnaire I needed to fill out regarding any changes in my life such as health, address, insurance, etc.  I smiled at the two gentleman already seated in the waiting room and took the clipboard to a seat  next to a table stacked neatly with magazines.  A glossy, gorgeous garden gleamed from the cover of a new-to-me gardening magazine.  I couldn't wait to get through the paperwork so I could gaze at the beautiful garden.   My dentist's office has the best magazines and they're always the latest issues, too.  I quickly filled out the form and returned it to the nice receptionist when I was done.

I was just about to lower myself into the chair when she called me back, "Oh, you probably didn't notice, but there are two more pages for you to fill out."

Whoops.  I retrieved the clipboard and went back to my chair.. I zipped through the next two pages, filled in the appropriate information and returned the form.

I was headed for the magazine.

Not so fast.

"Karen, you forgot to sign and date the form.""

Grinning sheepishly at the receptionist and the mildly curious gentleman still waiting in the room with me, I went back up and did as I was bid.  Thinking I was surely done, I handed the clipboard back to her one more time and was ALMOST to my chair and that magazine when I heard the patient receptionist say, "Uh, Karen?   You put the wrong date down, it's May 22, not April 22."

Red-faced, I trotted up to the desk one more time and corrected my mistake. 

At least I had my name right.  (I checked.)

And then the hygienist called my name.  Time to get my teeth cleaned.  

But the date thing wasn't my fault.  It doesn't feel like May outside.  It feels like April.  It's cold and wet and damp and rainy.  We had snow until almost the first of May and now we're having April Showers which should be bringing May Flowers, but instead the incessant rain is holding me up from getting all the work we need to get done before the busload of Master Gardeners (cue the trumpets--the title Master Gardener or MG, for short, just sounds so Official) arrive in less than eight days on June 4. 

Eight days.  And all it wants to do is rain.  There's a chance of rain every day for the next week. 

Oh, boy.  Look at the lawn--this was taken on Sunday after the big hailstorm and two inches of rain we received after the half inch of rain the night before:

The ground makes sad squishy-squashy sounds when you walk across it, like stomping on a wet sponge.  Today the temps never rose above 56 degrees and at night we're still dropping down into the upper 30's with frost warnings.  The cold nights aren't terribly unusual for Wisconsin, we've had snow as late as May 20, but we sure could use a break from the rain for a bit.  None of the farmers around here have much if any of their planting done, it's just too blasted wet.  I really feel badly for the farmers. They cannot harvest their crops if they cannot plant them.

The MG's are from southern Wisconsin and surrounding areas.   I'm not sure if their weather has been exactly the same or not, but hopefully they'll understand why things are so far behind around here.  It's pretty obvious we're not going to have the Formal Garden renovations done; there's over three inches of water standing right where Carl needs to work.  I have about half of the perennials dug out, but every time I try to dig out a big clump of what-nots, the shovel makes horrible sucking noises fit for a horror movie.  When the plant finally does come out of the ground, dividing the daylily clumps is a challenge and a chore; they're just encased in slippery mud. 
There's supposed to be a new stone wall here.  For 'some' reason, Carl doesn't want to work on it.
No fun.

And not much progress.

So, we moved on to just trying to make the rest of the gardens look better.  I know, my timing on reworking the Formal Garden probably couldn't have been any worse, but sheesh, you have to do it sometime, so better now than later.  (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)  We still have to get 122 good-sized rocks out of this garden and into new homes along with another sixty feet of perennials.  If we would have had a normal spring, I think we could have beat the tour deadline, but this ain't normal by a long shot.

This morning it started to rain around 11AM.  I was out planting some new lily bulbs when the first rain drops were spattered across my glasses by the 20 mph winds.  I was down on my knees and just sighed.  That's when I spotted the flowers that are blooming despite these dismal conditions and ran and got the camera.

These are some more of the primulas I almost tossed out from the Formal Garden renovations.  They are so tiny, but the colors are really intense.  I started them from seed probably five or six years ago, maybe longer, and they failed to germinate in the greenhouse.  Lacking patience with the whole idea, I simply dumped the barren flat upside down over the flower bed, knocking the potting soil out to fall into the bed, and forgot all about the experiment.   Then several years later, primroses began to appear.  Go figure.

Here's some I transplanted a year ago, I didn't realize they grew so large.  (I guess that's what plants do when you give them conditions they actually like.)

The hail managed to mangle the leaves, but the flowers did their best to hang on.  I think the guy on the bottom of the bunch had the right idea....when hail threatens, hide under a leaf!

We don't have any leaves big enough to hide us from hail and rain, unfortunately, but we're doing our best to get something done this spring.  And I realize how very lucky we are to have (so far) only minimal damage from all the storms this season; so many other parts of the country have been devastated. 

P.S. I never did get to look at that silly magazine and find out what the name of it was--but what a beautiful garden on the cover. 


Darla said...

I was going to ask about the magazine too, lol....such a shame :) . You have had your share of rain haven't you?

Anonymous said...

There are properties looking like yours. We have had rain everyday here as well. Farmers are in a panic. I keep telling everyone the rain has to stop sometime, I keep getting the same feeling like this winter with the snow. It has been crazy weather wise but the flowers are loving it. Funny story with your primula. It always seems like when you ignore them they flourish. I never have luck with them, so I may try your 'dumping' trick.

FlowerLady said...

Dear Karen ~ It is too bad that you can't send some of your rain down to us.

I'd be a wreck thinking about a tour of MG's coming to visit. YIKES!!! If they aren't understanding about your soggy, colorful gardens not being up to par, then they just aren't with it.

Your primulas are all so sweet, and I love the one blossom hiding out under the leaves.

Hope you get some drier weather so that you can get outside to play/work in your wonderful quarry gardens.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Lona said...

Karen girl I feel your pain. It has been the same way here all spring. Still have not gotten the mini garden tilled up.New plants are mucked in and I worry about when it does dry out will they possibly be able to grow from soil that will dry hard as cement.That awful squishing sound when you are walking.Ugh!
I am sure the tour of MG's will understand that a gardener is always moving things and making new beds. That would be my excuse and sticking to it. LOL!
I love to see primroses in bloom. Such colorful and cheery beauties.

Alison said...

Welcome to winter weather in the Pacific Northwest! Oh wait, never mind, you don't live here. Your wet spring weather is very like our winter weather.

I'm sure the MGs will understand if things are not as tidy as they should be. Most gardeners tear beds apart at least once in their lifetime, some many times.

Your primroses are so luscious. I have several barren cups with no sprouts, I was going to dump them in the compost, but maybe I should just dump them in the spots where I was planning to plant the sprouts, and in a few years they will grow.

Gatsbys Gardens said...


It rained most of the day yesterday and today. Everything is huge, too cold to garden, yuk!


Randy Emmitt said...

Just tell the MGs your weeds are for the butterflies, they will understand. Loved the primroses, I have a huge one like that big mass of red ones you posted. Tell Carl a little water and mud should not keep him from moving a few rocks.

Rosemary said...

Love the primroses...rain rain and rain here too... you are right more like April than May.

Tootsie said...

we've had a week of rain here too...and it stinks. Tonight we got hailed on not once...but twice.
I have all my little flowers planted and was worried sick that the hail may harm them...I hope they are going to get some warm sun soon...this gloomy summer is stinking on ice!

Zoey said...

I hear you, Karen. Same weather here. Your primulas do look nice, though.

xoxoxo said...

Ha--I just take the magazine in with me and leave with it too! Feeling like a rebel for stealing a magazine!