The work-arounds

Here’s a nice picture for a rainy day, a sun-dappled rhododendron. Here in Baltimore it’s been raining for the past two days. A slow, steady rain that chills you in the daytime, but comforts you at night with the drone of white noise, and a warm blanket.

I fertilized my garden yesterday–a first. I’m good about watering, but by the time the weeds start their assault, creeping in from the perimeter, the mosquitos are lending air support and it takes everything I have to wage a decent battle. I mean, why would anyone want to subject themselves to such miserable conditions? The heat and humidity of Baltimore coupled with endless weeds & relentless mosquitos. Sounds like fun, eh? Well, something keeps sending me back out, year after year, albeit in increasingly ridiculous outfits, concocted to fend off the enemy.

I’ve not really found a sure-fire solution, one that keeps the bugs off while I take the weeds down, but this is what makes gardening infinitely challenging, and fascinating. The work-arounds. Last year I had to devise a trellis for the tomatoes that had out-grown their cages. Solution? I hauled 6′ bamboo poles out of the park for a few days until I had enough to build a giant teepee that encompassed the sprawling tomatoes-run-amok. And it worked! A stunningly simple solution that had eluded me for years–years of jury-rigged contraptions, usually involving a massive influx of string, thrown together on the fly to help an ailing plant, a sagging tomato, a dangling vine.

This year I’ll look for light-weight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants that won’t stick to me in the humidity. I know they’re out there, it’s just that the very thought of such over dressing on a miserable summer’s day can keep you holed up and hunkered down. Perhaps a bee-keeper’s outfit?


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