Sunday, June 16, 2013

Journal Notes ...Feeling Overwhelmed and Defeated...venting

Most of my posts are scheduled and this is a double post but I need to vent.  The heat and the lack of rain has not helped.  I don't know if many gardeners ever feel like this because I don't know anyone crazy enough to attempt to do what I am doing.  Yesterday, (Saturday) I was exhausted.  We get water from a well.  One well fuels the house and the back gardens.  Another well, does the front.  The back well went out, now we are fueling the house with the garden well.  This has added more stress because my plants are already waning.  
I had a couple of goals.  Have a certain section screened by bloom day.  Have all the plants at the greenhouse planted by the 20th of June, and have the backyard project completed by August 1.  I completed the first goal, but yesterday I was so exhausted.  The heat index is hitting 100 degrees most days making almost impossible to work outside.  I think I need to regroup and pace myself more because right now, I feel very defeated.

The roses that have been screened and mulched (seem to be doing better).  They are not yet irrigated but I think for whatever reason it has helped.

The last layer I used leaf mold.  Since the heat is so hot, I did not want to waste the time going to the co-op for mulch so I opted for leaves.

Well, at least I got that accomplished.

The roses behind here are being overcome with weeds.  Two of them are from cuttings I actually made work.

We haven't finished wiring the manifold yet, but I felt it was better to screen first.  Maybe I should start irrigating.
Some of the plants at the greenhouse are full of ants.  To the point, where I almost want to abandon them.  This is an azalea bush that I really want to plant but it' overcome with ants..
The greenhouse is a wreck.  The weeds are very high and stuff is everywhere.

The cold frame has plants that are doing okay but are overcome with weeds.  Instead of planting, I am considering repotting.

The bigger plants seem to be okay but some have ants all in them..

I think it's too ambitious to get them in the ground.

The azaleas my mother gave me seem to be okay.  The rose cuttings that grew over the spring died.  I just couldn't attend to them.

The hydra bed is overcome with weeds and growings from trees I had cut down but the root system remained.

I have roses in this section but you wouldn't know it for the same reason as the one above.

This is more manageable.  I think my goal is to keep as many plants alive, and quit trying to save the failing ones.

Dollar General distressed roses didn't make...they might have but I didn't water them enough...and I think I will stop trying.  However, many did make it.

I think it's a gonner



This is Isabella....she is a priority.  I grew her from seed.

This rose bed seems to be doing better but I wish it would rain more.

This section got over run with trees that I cut down but the root system remained.

I don't know why the screening made things better...maybe because it looks better.

Any plants on daily water timers are doing immensely better.

The front bed is overrun with weeds.  Some look like perwinkles but having trouble determining which ones.

The junipers are suffering.  They are supposed to be able to live in sandy dry soil but they are doing well.

Especially this one.

The driveway roses need to be pruned.  They are on an automatic system but the weeds like the water too.  It's not screened.

Needs pruning but this can probably wait.

Creekside roses are also on a water timer but overrun with weeds.

The grass is unmowed and weedy.  The pollen has been fierce on me this year.

Raintree and peachtree are okay.

Husband mowed the front field.  It makes me feel better.  The wildflowers he left.  I have several packs of wildflowers I am very tempted to just throw in there an be done with it.

The perinneals and ornamentals are okay.  I have been diligent in watering the willow.

The garden well has a hose running to the main well.  Did it lose prime or is the water table down?  I looked up the water table...I think it lost prime.


NellJean said...

Okay, time to regroup and make a new plan. Let the cheap stuff go, you can't save it all. Let the plants that are overgrown under trees duke it out with whatever is there until fall and salvage what you can when it's cool.

Stop fertilizing. You don't feed your family Thanksgiving Dinner when it's hot, you give them something light. Your plants will be better with less of everything until next spring and weeds and grass will grow more slowly.

Prune in the fall if you must prune.

Ants. Are they fireants? Probably. Get some STUFF. There's some in a brown canister that you can just put a spoonful on there. Even better is something in a bag that you sprinkle a half cup and then water in, lots of trouble but works well if the white stuff in the canister fails.

Dump the dead stuff and group the potted things that are good together and keep them watered enough they don't die. It's too hot to work outside then it's too hot to plant out things from a pot, too late unless it comes a three day rain. Plant out on the second day of rain. I'm talking about inches of rain, not a tenth today and two tenths tomorrow.

Deal with your weeds. They will not go away. Pull your grass, it will EAT your plants. Or, just wait until fall and salvage what you can. You cannot do it all and you certainly cannot do it all in one day.

Save your wildflower seeds until fall. Prepare a bed and scatter the seeds. They'll come up in early spring and you'll have a wildflower patch. You'll have to weed. Consider mowing it when it looks sad.

Enlist your husband in the planning. He may have some suggestions that he held back because you had a plan. He probably knows what to do about the pumps and wells, too.

Summertime; the Living is supposed to be Easy.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

Thanks, Nell...that helped a great deal. I agree with what you said. There is a section on the other L that the container plants are it...bougainvilleas and hibiscus. I has become over run, the roses there are being overtaken by weeds. My thinking is to move the container plants out....weed, and plant the plants in the greenhouse there. More spaced than the rose garden...once I finished venting...I realized there really aren't that many....but the heat makes it very hard to work. I stopped feeding because,...I didn't have the time to be honest.
Appreciate the input..I feel better.

HolleyGarden said...

I get discouraged every year about this time. It gets hot. The roses don't look as fresh. And the weeds spring up everywhere. I have been outside the last few days trying to get all the weeds out of my flowerbeds, too. Just take it easy, and do what you can. Just don't overdo. It's too hot outside, and heat stroke is a very real concern. Your garden looks great where you have screened. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just try to keep things alive until autumn when the weather is a bit better for working.

debsgarden said...

The title of this blog post caught my attention! Summer doldrums always hit me about this time, and my garden is well established. It is so much harder when you are just getting started. I really don't do much during the summer except try to keep things alive. Your garden looks huge and has fantastic potential, but unless you are enormously wealthy, it won't meet your vision for a number of years. Other commenters above have given good advice. My own advice would be to start near the house and complete sections there that are manageable, then gradually add other areas or garden rooms as time and budget allow. Every step will be an improvement and will bring you lots of satisfaction.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

@deb...I agree with starting near the house. I learned that from last year. The property is 15 acres. This year I worked on infrastructure with the expectation that it will take years and year to make it fantastic. That is the plan. The heat has been hard to work in. But I recently caught a second wind. This project has literally taken twice as long I expect...and I (conservatively) work 4 hours in it daily.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

@Holley...I have been to the ER via ambulance one time this year over...I'm not in a rush to do it a second time. Especially, after I got the bill. My body is usually good about telling me to quit. It just has been more recurrent than normal with the heat index at 100

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

@Deb...I didn't see your response as to whether it was your garden that was featured in Alabama Garden. If it was, I don't think they did it justice.