Late April showers ease concerns about Miss-Lou’s May flowers

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

Finally we’ve had our April showers. I’ve been a little concerned that without the rain, our gardens might suffer when it comes to May flowers in the Miss-Lou. After all, it seems like we usually have plenty of rain this time of year.

The rainfall deficit this spring has meant a little extra time in the garden for me as of late. I’ve had to drag the hose around more than I remember doing during March and April. In fact, I’m pretty sure that unless I had to water a new plant in my garden, I generally don’t need to break out the water hose until (coincidentally) the poppy seed has dried in May.

This year, I’ve even resorted to setting up a sprinkler. I’ve been known to go for several years and not lay eyes on a sprinkler much less actually use one. Selecting drought and heat tolerant species that actually thrive during our intense summers with little supplemental water is easier.

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Not until this year have we had to resort helping mother nature out in the water department so early. Just think about all the great gardening weekends that have been rained out in the last few spring seasons. We’ve felt lucky when we got enough sunshine and dry weather on a Saturday to be able to enjoy the outdoors.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have any problem entertaining myself during dry or wet weather and although pulling a water hose around the garden is not my favorite activity, I’d have to say that this has been the most floriferous year in my garden to date.

Columbine in every color of the rainbow has been in flower for weeks and is still exquisite. Louisiana iris, spiderwort and roses are just a few of the other colorful flowers in my garden right now.

Delphinium and its cousin larkspur are blooming side by side amongst the poppies. Snapdragon, dianthus and pansy of several species blend in perfectly with the intense colors of the ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard. Johnny-jump-ups and variegated lemon thyme make a perfect combination along the pathways.

Deliciously fragrant sweet peas planted in pots are climbing up metal structures creating height and vertical interest. Speaking of vertical draw, the foxglove is absolutely fabulous and stands at least four feet in height.

Red geraniums in the window box plus mixed containers on the back deck are a welcoming sight as I come and go. Rosemary placed near the back door is positioned so that I lightly brush it as I walk past, releasing the wonderful fragrance.

Speaking of fresh herbs, the parsley, cilantro and dill have been very productive and well used this year. Oregano, thyme, chives and mint are also favorites and benefit greatly from the regular trimming they receive between us and the neighbors.

Best of all, the garden is constantly changing and I’m amazed daily at what it does for my soul. I’m also thankful for the rain at which point I treasure cut stems indoors.