Friday, June 13, 2014

Gone with the wind ... and the rain

I've never seen My Favorite Year, so I'll be blogging GWTW, I guess. And this year, in my garden, it's not GWTW but GWTW: Gone with the Water.

Poor Iowa has suffered, like all places, from climate shifts, many of them (it seems like), in one week. Last year we had a wet spring then a mini-drought. The year before that was a flat-out drought. In 2008, there was massive flooding.

This year there's a good deal of rain. I did some major landscaping in 2012 and the garden is finally maturing. But with that comes what we didn't anticipate. We installed the garden in a drought year. Now that we're finally getting rain (sometimes a real gully-washer, as we say in these parts), parts of the garden are more like rivers. In particular, I have massive stone steps installed. The water appears to be running from the often-clogged drainage area (clogged with pollen and tree debris) onto the steps, which then become a waterfall.

Once the ground cover fills in around the steps, it will be fine, but we had a terrible winter last year and plants are coming in late. This picture shows that -- this is a June picture, and it looks more like early May. Usually by June, it's ALL green with splotches of color.

I've gone through several bags of mulch already this year, trying to keep dirt from washing away, but I think other measures will be required. So today, it's off to the garden center for a load of river rock to put around the steps and on the landing areas. It's not quite the look I wanted, but it beats hauling 50 pound bags of mulch around (yes, I do that on a regular basis).

Gardening always reminds me of the writing process. You think you have a book all plotted out, and BAM, something comes along and it takes a right turn (in my case, it becomes a waterfall). There's nothing you can do except be flexible and turn with it.

I had to do that with my latest release, out now from The Wild Rose Press. It's a past/present story and it took a LOT of rewriting to get it pared down to an acceptable size.I had to stay as flexible as a pretzel when it came to editing that one!

Back to the garden for some more work before it heats up for the day. We have a narrow window of opportunity here to enjoy the outdoors, so I'm taking advantage of it!


Leah St. James said...

Your landscaping is lovely! Makes me want to wrap my front yard in a brown bag! :-) The waterfall image sounds kind of nice...until you have to walk up or down the steps, I guess.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Love your dedication to the garden and the book. Best of luck with both. Like your flexible as a pretzel image.

Jannine Gallant said...

This is why I let the thimbleberry bushes take over my yard. My patience isn't limber enough for gardening.

Ashantay said...

I also have a steep hill in front of my house - getting ideas from your photo! Enjoyed the post and good luck with the drainage -- I understand the mulch comment...too well.

Donna Michaels said...

Gorgeous garden, JL! You are so right about needing to be flexible while writing. Nothing is set in stone. Sometimes, pretzel-flexing is imperative. Best of luck with your release!!

Alicia Dean said...

I know nothing about gardening, I'm afraid. But, I have a little first hand knowledge of the editing you mentioned. Yes, it was quite an undertaking, but you did it splendidly, as always!