There is a storm on the way. Clouds and winds from the North are delaying my gardening activities, extending my blogging time.
Yesterday's run to Coos was very productive. We bought bags of mushroom compost at Wallmart; blackberries and raspberries starts, zucchini, beans, onions and artichoke starts. For more exotic plants we went to our berry lady, who is known for unusual starts, up in the hills of Charleston. She had a hundred plus varieties of blueberry plants. Imagine! She had sold us a few in the past, and I wanted to expand my varieties. She had one that produces gigantic fruit, as big as cherries. We got a few of those, and cherries, both Bing and Rainier.
After we plant all these things, weeks from now, we need to worry about fertilizing, weeding, and later in the summer months, irrigating. This part of Oregon has two seasons, approximately six months each, wet and dry. Once a tree is established it can survive the drought. But not sooner. In addition, we have a marine layer, cool winds that dry up in one sweep, and wet in another. We provide wind barriers to most plantings. And we provide weed barriers, mulching or cloth covering to prevent unwanted vegetation strangling the young upstarts we paid a dear penny for. I haven't even mentioned the animals.
Nothing is deer-proof. They need to roam and taste and be satiated somehow. We must outsmart them with herbs, tall fences, or delicious tender shoots planted just in their reach to stop further decimation. Sometimes this last act is totally unplanned. I left a pot of ranunculus by the front door whose blooms remained happy for weeks before they became a tasty appetizer for a doe.
This year, I'm expanding my vegetable patch and my fruit production. What we don't eat I can freeze. I have half a freezer full of sliced apples from last year's crop. If I crave apples, or I have nothing to put on my yogurt, I grab a few frozen slices, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon, plop in the microwave, and voila.
Those of you who like gardening know how satisfying planting season can be.