Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I can see clearly now the rain has gone

Or is this just a lull in the storm? It had been such a soggy mess last month - 75% rain and cold and 25% sun and sky - that we left the empty garden beds alone and ran off on vacation. Now that temperatures seem to have finally stabilized, half of the tomato plants that I had started from seed in February have gone directly into the ground under poly-tunnel protection without first hardening them off. Well that's just too bad. A few never made it through the shock, but it is a huge relief to simply get them out of my living room space. There is still the other half to contend with, but for now they are happy with their new digs in the coldframe.

The Traveling Borage
The borage decided to head north from the previous year.

In prealpine country, I find this stage of the gardening season to be the most hopeful yet most worrisome part. You've got your early seedlings to set out, you've got seeds like beans, corn and squash to set into the ground, you can make out the tiny beginnings of plums, peaches, cherries and apricots on the tree, but you HOPE to high heaven that the weather doesn't pull a fast one and start blowing typhoon gales, more rain and sudden hailstorms your way. What's funny are the things that you didn't even expect to appear, like the borage that was hastily transplanted the previous year. It decided to make a come back, only on the other side from where it had originally grown. We didn't even notice the plant until it had reached this size. And then there's the "weed" Aquilegia vulgaris that my husband had yanked out from the roadside. The village mowing crew gives curbside a good trim before summer visitors start arriving, and everything in their path gets hacked to bits. I've seen some really pretty flowers cut down along with the rest of the stuff, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to save at least one of them.

Aquilegia vulgaris

Today's high: 19°C / 66°F