Telling the Sho’ Nuff truth means shooting straight from the hip when the garden is a nightmare. I’ve painted and posted a lot of “pretty pictures” of my garden. But the gloves are coming off. I’ve had one helluva poor spring because the Rain. Just. Won’t. Stop. More than a foot and a half of water has come out of the sky in the last four weeks. As I’ve mentioned in other Progress Reports, I have a low-spot in my yard that I work around very carefully.
There just isn’t anywhere else for that water to go now except into my gooseberry beds, although they have never had trouble with standing water before.
If you don’t know Gooseberries (I recommend you plant one right away) they are tuff little customers, disinterested in pests, disinterested in soil pH, disinterested in fungal diseases, disinterested in soil quality. You can stick them most anywhere that gets sun, and you’re going to get fruit. But even G.I. Jane Gooseberry starts to drown after a week in standing water.
… and the weather report says more rain is on the way for another five days.
I’ll be a Monkey’s Uncle before I let my gooseberry bushes drown. They are just beginning to bear fruit; and quite frankly, I can’t afford to replace them!
So I spent the Saturday morning with my husband digging drainage channels between the low spot in our yard and the city’s drainage ditch.
My backyard now looks like a bulldozer has been tearing up sod; great clots of bare Mississippi mud are just waiting to turn into sun-baked Mesopotamian-styled bricks, just as soon as the sun comes out. The gooseberries are out of danger for now, but I just can’t enjoy the landscape when part of it looks like a construction site.
One bright spot: My three Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) shrubs bloomed for the first time since I put them in the ground as bare-root whips 6 years ago! If you don’t know Blackhaw Viburnum, it is a native understory shrub capable of thriving in deep shade and in dry compacted soil. It’s fruits are often sweet enough for human consumption, but the birds really enjoy them (which is why I planted them).
Mazel Tov, Blackhaws!