Our garden has gone wild. We left for a week and returned to chaos. The giant plants are well on the way to their gigantic, summer proportions. Some plants are bent with blooms and even our little Meyer lemon can barely seem to hold the weight of the fruit. There is not a single bare patch in the whole of the back garden, but not because I managed to find/choose annuals to cover every inch. There’s a lot of purslane, which is fine, I suppose. But I take issue with the spurge, crabgrass, and other weeds that obviously decided to throw a party while we were away. Everyone accepted.
Mosquitoes are horrendous. We could install a misting system to deal with them. Except that we can’t. The notion of setting poison to a timer is so unappealing that it would keep us indoors as much as the insects and heat.
And speaking of heat – well – it’s stifling. It’s a veritable sauna out there.
And we just returned from the mountains, where we spent as much time outdoors as possible and felt cool, dry, and free.
The boycott is on.
Traditionally, the boycott has started some time in July and usually ends mid-September, give or take. I virtually ignore the garden during that time. I’ll tend to emergencies, deadhead in quick little spurts, yank a weed in passing, and certainly harvest any vegetables that had the wherewithal to persevere. But that’s it.
Last year, I couldn’t do it. I’d planted azaleas and a few other things and felt compelled to help them through summer. Not this year. You’re on your own, babies.
I’ll read gardening books and blogs. Enjoy a few gardening vlogs. Plot and plan. Maybe even order seeds. But the hot version of a blizzard has hit.
The boycott is on.
I plot and I plan. I work under dangerous conditions. I am frequently under assault. At times, I might drop everything and run for cover. I strive to work towards the greater good.
Gardening in southeast Texas can be brutal. Heat, humidity, and potentially disease-carrying mosquitoes are problems for more than half the year and a dangerous combination in summer. That’s to say nothing of fire ants and other biting, stinging insects. Snakes, too, although they only make a rare appearance in my little garden. Poison ivy and oak are common and birds sow both generously.
Despite some uncomfortable conditions, I feel very protective of the wild in my garden. It’s important to know friend from foe, for example, venomous from nonvenomous snakes. Even then, it’s often not necessary to engage.
As for the bugs, it is not fine with us to hurt the good with the bad. Pesticides are banned. So are herbicides. Our beds, whether food or ornamental, are organic. And while our garden isn’t entirely native, we do have plenty of native plants that please the local wildlife as well as ourselves.
While every garden is different, they all offer challenges, pleasures, time with nature. Much like people, they have their good days and bad days, high seasons and low; and they can all be fun and beautiful if you love them enough.