Floral notes: Things I did and learned this summer [so far]

Community Columnist

Beware of the weeds that mimic plants they are among. “You don’t see me,” they taunt. I’ve been stumped many a time, so use this rule: if it is growing more places than are wanted, it probably is not something to keep anyway.

Once in my rock garden, home to tiny treasures, an unrecognized volunteer appeared growing in a triangle, just the way many things I plant are. Thinking in the throes of spring fever, I had forgotten what new treat I’d purchased, I left it until it grew three-inches-tall and finally bloomed revealing three of the healthiest weeds around — yikes.

Many of my visitors ask how I water all my plants and are shocked to learn only pots get water, either from rainwater collected from the garage roof or buckets dipped from Emerald Pond. When plants are watered more than nature supplies, which in Cazenovia is plenty, the roots stay near the surface waiting for the next handout.

Left to get tough or perish, the roots wiggle deep to find moisture and so are unaffected by short term drought. Anything newly planted gets five days of water from a bucket or watering can — no hoses or until the first good rain. Smart gardeners learn to plant just before it rains.

When time and energy are precious, learning the art of triage in the garden saves both. The chore that pays off the highest gets first dibs. A bed with weeds choking good plants trumps a garden that needs edging. Likewise, a pot that needs water versus deadheading.

If you choose the wrong thing or miss the right time to do a job, your workload has doubled, at the least. I used to be a terrible procrastinator until I learned there is more free time and less worrying about the ordeal, if I just do that something at the most opportune time. More nap time, anyone?

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