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A big day on the deck. May 22, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, pets, wit and wisdom.
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Miracles happen, even here in the precise middle of nowhere, PA, where our friend Ben and Silence Dogood live in our cottage home, Hawk’s Haven. How do I know? Because, for the second day running, it hasn’t rained. So far.

Two rainless days in a row after rain every single day for what seems like a month is a real gift for passionate gardeners like Silence and yours truly. It means that we were able to do yard chores, like mowing, pruning, and weeding, yesterday, then head off yesterday afternoon to that mecca of heirloom veggie transplants, James Weaver’s Meadow View Farm in nearby scenic Bowers, PA to buy herb, hot pepper, and tomato transplants. Today, we planted the new acquisitions in our veggie beds (Silence is still on the lookout for yellow crookneck squash and tomatillo transplants), then finished the transitioning of plants from our greenhouse to the deck, their summer home.

Mind you, not all our plants leave the greenhouse for the summer. Cacti and succulents, all the orchids except the hardy cymbidiums, and any plants in the in-ground greenhouse bed (including the cardamom, aloes, jade plants, Cuban oregano, and lemongrass) remain in place. But many, many plants, including our figs, citrus, olive, bay, rosemaries, lemon verbena, geraniums (pelargoniums), amaryllis, cymbidiums, cannas, ferns, clivia, and the like make the annual trek from the greenhouse to the deck. And all our hanging plants make the transition from the greenhouse to hooks in our tree branches.

Some of our water-garden plants that have shivered through the winter in the greenhouse water garden also make the journey to the half-barrel on the deck, along with oxygenating anacharis that grows like a weed in our indoor aquariums but could never survive a Pennsylvania winter in the great outdoors. Next weekend, we’ll reintroduce goldfish and snails.

Because we have so many plants to move, we try to reserve several weekends to accomplish the task. Then, as Silence, the Deckorator, says, once I’ve hauled them over and she’s put them in place, she can look at the deck as a garden in containers and see what we need to add to unite the various areas. (“We should put some chartreuse coleus over there to connect that side with the chartreuse Boston fern on this side and the golden creeping Jenny and chartreuse sweet potato vine in our planter.”) Then, it’s back to the nurseries next weekend to complete her vision.  

But at least the deck looks lush now. Sitting out there with the drinks of our choice and our beloved black German shepherd, Shiloh, listening to the birds singing and the creek burbling, we agreed that life was good. At least, until it starts raining again.

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