Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Things to do while you wait for the sun

Here in Portland it's been quite the rain fest this spring. When I first moved here as a kid it was rainy and cold until the Forth of July so it feels like old times to me. Still, it can be a little frustrating waiting for summer to begin when the rest of the country is already knee deep in flip flops and beach attire. So Portlanders, stop whining. It's going to be 100 degrees in no time and you'll be crying for a cool rainy day. In the meantime, here's a few things to think about.

* Think about the water you're saving. If you lack a good irrigation system you can be thankful for the days, weeks, that you don't have to water. New plantings especially respond well to regular rain waterings. I haven't had to hand water my new perennials in weeks and they're doing great.

* An extended spring planting season. While it's okay to plant in the summer, planting during the cool spring weather gives your plants a head start for our hot dry summers.

* Install a rain barrel and make your neighbors feel guilty for not having one.

* Get your shearing and pruning done on a cool, cloudy day. There is nothing worse than spending an entire afternoon shearing your perfect boxwood dolphin only to have the newly exposed leaves burn due to sun exposure.

* Enjoy the beauty of lush, perfect foliage. Our gardens in Portland look crisp and burnt towards the end of the summer and it really drives me nuts. Think about investing more in plants that have great foliage and texture-they'll look good in the rain before the daisies get a chance to bloom.

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