Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wisconsin Weather and Gardening Adventures

A day like this calls for piping hot tea first thing in the morning.

Wisconsin can't seem to make up its mind on the weather, which is not at all unusual for Wisconsin, I suppose. Last month we had an amazingly warm week. Flowers bloomed, people put away their winter coats; it was lovely. Then we spent a week being rained, snowed, and hailed on. Really, weather? Fine, it's April, sometimes things like that happen. The next couple weeks were actually quite springlike. The weather was cool, but not unbearably so, and we had warmer days. It rained, but no more snow and hail. Then last week we apparently jumped into summer a bit early. The humidity was terrible, but it was followed by some pretty epic storms with thunder that rattled the windows. (The storms are my favorite part of summer, by the way.) This week, we are apparently back to cold again. The temperature wouldn't be so bad by itself if it weren't for the icy, strong winds.

Getting any gardening done has been next to impossible. The nicest days always seem to be when I'm working, especially when I'm working a long shift. I have flowers planted in my front garden, and I even did some weeding, which for me is impressive. Usually the weeds and the flowers grow next to each other all season long. In the backyard, I did a bit of weeding and planting in the flowerbeds, and my husband and I installed some new bushes around the patio. We even went to the city's free yard site and collected a few bags of mulch to put around the bushes. I still need to tackle weeding and mulching the blueberry bushes, but the rest of the flowerbeds look quite professional right now. The poor vegetable garden, on the other hand, looks atrocious. I haven't been able to find a nice day that my husband and I are both actually home to till up the vegetable garden and re-fence it. Thus, no vegetables have been planted back there yet. I have some rhubarb growing from last season, and some seedling veggies from the farmer's market on the front porch just waiting to go in the ground, but no time to actually get them back there.

Last year, I will freely admit, I didn't put any time or effort into gardening and just let whatever happen happen. Surprisingly, I did get a few blueberries from the bushes, but the birds had free reign of most of them. I also had a few perennials sprout on their own and take care of themselves pretty well. I even had pumpkins in the veggie garden. They must have sprouted from the rotted Halloween pumpkins we put back there the autumn before. This year I intend to put as much effort into gardening as I tried to the first year I lived in this house. The first year, I planted tomatoes and herbs and pumpkins and gourds and flowers and peas and so many other things.... and almost nothing came to fruition. Perhaps that's why I was so lackadaisical last summer. Why bother, I said. But even without bothering, I did manage to have some results, so if I actually put in some effort this year, maybe my results will be even better now that I've learned a little.

Today is windy and chilly, but also sunny. I have a lot on my to-do list. I have to start getting ready for the first craft fair of the season coming up this Saturday. That means packing up my tote full of displays, taking inventory of everything I've made and/or sold since the last craft fair in November, pricing everything and getting it onto cards to hang on the displays, organizing everything into more totes without crushing anything, deciding what to bring and what to leave behind, and packing an emergency fix-it kit. Don't get me wrong; I LOVE doing craft fairs. They are my bread and butter all summer long, and it's really rewarding when you have a good fair where your items sell at a decent pace, or even better, sell like hotcakes. But the effort is exhausting sometimes. I only have a couple days off this week to use to get ready. Whenever I look outside, though, despite the chilly wind, the sun beckons to me. Nature is what I take my inspiration from. I can't resist the chance to go outside and revel in it.

I think I'll try to do a little of both today. I'll work inside and see if the wind calms down, and if it stays sunny out, and maybe I'll spend a couple hours outside before I come back in to finish the task at hand. I suppose I'd better finish my tea and get to work.

Listening to: Rasputina's latest album, Great American Gingerbread
Pics: Some of my flowers :)