Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Constantly Frustrated Gardener

I've been reading a lot of posts about people's gardens this spring and feeling unbelievably envious. Miss Litzi, Jennifer and Brenda have posted some pictures, and Rootie, Ashley's Mom and Beki have been writing about their plans.

Me? I've just been waiting for the ground to be uniformly warm enough to start doing SOMETHING!

Up here at 9000 feet, our growing season is incredibly short. So while people in other parts of the world start getting tulips in April, mine start peeking their stalks out in early June.

But it is kind of cool to have gladiolas in August.

Anyway, whereas I used to have a huge veggie garden when I lived in the flatlands, the weather (and the critters) have made it impossible up here. I miss it.

Although I've been stubborn and planting and replanting bulbs every other year, I've also tried to make do with the native drought-resistant wildflowers---the ones that survive the Lookie Loos, that is. They have a certain charm, but I want rose bushes, dammit!

For the last couple of years, I've been planting Sweet Peas from seed in the spring in the sunniest spot on the property. Since I can't have lilacs or honeysuckle, I've been determined to make it work. By September last year, I had 6 blooms before the first snow.

Boy oh boy, I sniffed all the smell out of them!

So this year I decided to try something different. Yesterday I called around down in the city to all the garden centers, until I found ONE that actually had live sweet pea plants. They had 4 containers of 4 left. I begged them to hold them for me, packed up the guys and ran down there immediately.

The plants were large enough that they represented probably about 5-6 weeks in the ground here, from germination to an 8-inch growth.

Yippee! I'm so psyched!

Then this morning, believe it or not, I woke up to this:

It's a conspiracy, I tell you! A conspiracy!


Ruth Dynamite said...

I didn't realize you were so high up! Maybe you should just invest in lots of plastic flowers and call it a day?

Rootietoot said...

Have you looked into Canadian roses? I believe they are of rugosa heritage, and tough as nails. Not as pretty as those Paris Hiltonian Hybrid Teas, but roses noneheless.

Sam Kedem Nursery

High COuntry Roses

Jennifer McK said...

I have a black thumb, therefore I kill anything I touch that goes in the ground.
We ought to trade brains for a while. You can plant my garden in the California spring and I can hang out in your garden and not go nutty. LOL.
Many have tried to help cure my black thumb. All have failed.
And no plants came back alive.

Brenda said...

Oh No! Snow on your Sweet Peas is bad news! I'm such a summer child that I fear if I lived up there, I'd have to hibernate from mid-Sept. to June.

Have you ever thought of a container garden where you could bring the stuff inside when it's cold?

Christi said...

Bless your heart! Mr. C wanted me to tell you how fab our tomato & bean plants are, but at this point that'd just be cruel. :>

Miss Litzi said...

Hi Attila,
What a shame to wake up to snow at the onset of Memorial Day weekend. I think I’d be depressed too with only 3-months of actual gardening time. Does the snow and cold temperatures keep the weeds to a minimum?

Did you plant the sweet peas when you got home or are they still in their containers? If they’re not in the ground, they should be alright for a while if they’ve got proper light and water.

After reading your post, I’m going to stop complaining to anyone who’ll still listen to me about the sandy soil and lack of sunshine and consider myself fortunate that I’m not contending with snow on the 26th of May.

My offer is still open if you want to come bask in the humid, dank, clammy fog and yank weeks with me. Have a wonderful Memorial Day…I hope the snow melts as quickly as it appeared.

Rhonda said...

I think I'd be container gardening if I were you. Then you could pull everything into the garage when it snows in the middle of summer . . .

Annie Drogynous said...

No effing way!

Have you thought about installing a small greenhouse so that you could plant your veggie garden and thus have it all year round?

Deb said...

I couldn't help but laugh at your misfortune, I know it is wrong of me... Maybe you could try starting your plants from seeds somewhere warm in the house infront of a sunny window, or does that not exist at 9000 feet? I have no idea what it is like to battle cold weather with plants so excuse my ignorance!

Samantha said...

I miss snow. Although I got to wear a summer dress to work the other day so yeay!

carmachu said...

wow snow! Its like in the 80's up here in NY.

I'll have to take pictures of my snowball bush in bloom later on....

Jennifer said...

omg that's rough. i've been crying because warm weather was a month late this year and my crocus' never bloomed but hell at least we don't have any snow. that would be bad.

Pendullum said...


Anonymous said...

ha ha ha ha.
i'm not laughing at you, i swear!
have a good weekend!

DutchBitch said...

Get stuck into it, Hon! You can do it!!!

I wish I had a garden to get frustrated about. All I have is a balcony I can just fit myself on, standing upright, if I don't wiggle my toes too much...

Gonzo said...

Oh poor you! Do you live in such a cold climate? Brrr... for me a reason to move, I would become very depressed woon...!
Even no honeysuckle or lilac? Poor girl...!

Tulips in June... Ever considered moving to The Netherlands...? ;) My sweet pea is flowering since a few weeks, but we also had the warmest spring since the register of meteorological things started (1706). After the warmest fall and winter. Al Gore was right... :S

sarala said...

OK, I'm a week or so behind in my reading. I didn't realize you had such a late snow. Poor things. We actually had frost two weeks after our supposed last frost date so I guess it is happening everywhere. Now it is in the toasty 80's during the day with magnificent thunderstorms (unless you're an airplane pilot). Gotta love the midwest.