I cannot recall ever planting anything after the first of July, with the exception of radish seeds and vegetable starts for late summer
or early fall harvest. Normally, I have always done my spring planting in February and March and major garden cleanup and revision in April and early May. Essentially, I take summers off from major landscape work and enjoy our mild- to warmish summers with my family. This year, however, spring planting lasted until last weekend as the Pacific NorthWet has remained about nine degrees cooler than normal on a daily basis with precipitation and daily cloud cover running well ahead of typical. This summer stinks weatherwise…but apparently Nature is ENTIRELY in favor of a moss garden in my clearing. Sadly, Nature is not loving a rooftop deck with wall-to-wall outdoor rugs, sleek Los Angles-y lounge chairs, and container-grown fruits and tomatoes (I know, tomatoes are fruit, too) on it. My bad.
The only reason I won’t continue Spring planting into August (as this weather pattern seems to be doing) is that I have totalled up my plantings and I have now surpassed the number of plants in the original mitigation plan. The sum of what I have added plus what survived through the winter and spring is now well in excess of what was originally planted. Plus, I could use a ‘rest’ (which will likely entail the continued war upon invasive weeds, the extension of my mitigation plantings for purely aesthetic purposes, and the writing of a complete mitigation
report…yawn). In truth, I am constitutionally incapable of “rest” as most people–my wife, for instance, sorry hon–understand it, unless I am in Maui. Looking out my window this morning, I most decidedly am not.
I resist the urge to take ‘after’ photos. The ‘before’ photos (like the one that forms the background to this page) were taken in early October, and I feel like I should give all my plants and bryophytes the advantage of the entire growing season before subjecting them to comparison.
Early this morning I had my coffee and deeply considered the restful and mysterious quality my mossy glen is taking on. Assuredly, it looks nothing like it did post-mitigation: I have used twice as many evergreen conifers (albeit different ones), and the deciduous broadleaf shrubs which died, were brutally browsed by deer, or I have moved to more welcoming locations have been supplanted with an equal or greater number of evergreen broadleaf shrubs and subshrubs like Evergreen Huckleberry, Oregon Box (found some!), and kinnikinnik. In my mind’s eye, I view the clearing two or three years from now with moss grown together and the kinnikinnik scrambling over rotting stumps, my boulders, and nurse logs. My home is on a broad plateau at 500 feet elevation in the Cascade Mountain foothills, as so the clearing will be a hybrid of lowland rainforest and low alpine open forest. The morning again resembles a dull wet dove*, but it is lovely here in my mind’s eye.
*Ok. I am reaching for metaphor to describe the MonoSeason of 2010-11, and I have reviewed my posts and am aware I comment frequently upon the weather. I work in ‘indoor climate control’ and I am a gardener, I am hyper-aware of the weather, just can’t help it…especially because the weather is so abnormal. HOWEVER! I am also aware that our weird NW weather is not presently a threat to life or property, as it is and has been elsewhere in the U.S. To my gardening friends elsewhere: I would gladly take ten of your degrees (and a ripe tomato come September). Please stay hydrated and take care of yourselves!