A mixed bed in all it's late summer glory

A mixed bed in all it's late summer glory

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Year of Slugs and Lilacs

From the earliest days of spring I had a feeling this would be one of those cool, wet, non-summers we get now and then in B.C. It has been a while. Our springs have been colder and later than used to be normal (who knows what normal is anymore?), but our summers, once they arrive, have been hot and dry.

Well, here we are past the solstice, and the weather is still variable and cool. April and May were horrid, June has not been that bad, really. Above: the combination of a "Rick Box" and a Lee Valley pop-up tent allows me to have a salad garden close to the house, luxury!

Plants are growing, though with some setbacks. Carrots never came up. I heard the same thing from several people. WHY?
I started some pole beans in the greenhouse and planted them as nice healthy little plants, to the great delight of the slugs. They were stripped to nothing. It is a terrible year for slugs.
Or rather, it is a very good year for slugs, not so good for the embattled gardener.
But there was one big surprise among the late-everything and the slug set-backs: Lilacs.
The big lilac in front of the house was glorious.

The small white lilac I planted next to the sumac finally honoured us with some blossoms, but they were hidden beneath the leaves, hardly showed, and I forgot to take a picture.
The surprises were outside the cultivated areas.

Many years ago, during the first year we lived on the land in the tipi, I planted a few lilac shoots that an acquaintance had given us. At the time, 1976, the land was an abandoned hayfield colonized by bracken fern and surrounded on three sides by wooded crownland.

I planted the lilac shoots close to the 'hippie well', the hole dug in the ground where we got our drinking water in those years. Over the years the cottonwood babies grew into big trees, but the lilacs never did anything. Eventually I stopped paying attention to them. Until this year, a full 35 years after they were planted, this bouquet appeard in the middle of nowhere. Go figure.
Then there was the lilac I planted near the old log house when we still lived in it. We moved down to the trailer in 1987. It never showed much enthousiasm either. Eventually the deer fence went right through the clump. I wasn't even sure it was still there. You guessed it, it bloomed, fence and all.
Crazy year.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my little nature blog. I'm enjoying purveying life in B.C. And speaking of those awful slugs I have a memoring of a camping trip to Vancouver Island with our two young sons. They captured a slug and brought it to me. By Minnesota standards it was way beyond gigantic. Maybe 5 or 6 inches. We were all impressed. I remember thinkg I'm glad they not running amok in my hosta garden.

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