Saturday, June 23, 2012

June Is A Month That Plays With My Heart

As a Pacific Northwest gardener, I have a love/hate relationship with the month of June.

On the plus side, the glories of our early summer gardens are hard to beat. This mild maritime climate is perfect for growing large, lush blossoms. Imagine every lovely beauty you have ever seen in a traditional English garden and you have a good idea of what thrives in our gardens as well.

Spires of blue and purple delphinium
Spicy sweet single blossoms of rugosa rose
Lush white roses highlighted by luxuriant pink peonies and sweet lavender.
Mutabilis roses that change from peach to pink to magenta as they bloom.
Pale pink Cecile Brunner roses run riot over the trellis.

There is no denying the extravagant beauty of the June garden in this neck of the woods, and I am so happy and grateful to see these rare miracles unfold in my very own yard.

However. Take another look at those photos. Do you see one tiny peep of blue sky? Can you find a single ray of sunshine? Will you detect any indication of warm or even dry weather?

No, you don't and you can't and you won't.

Because up here, June is a wet and soggy affair. Day after day after day, we have overcast skies, misty damp clouds, rainy sprinkles and even solid soaking showers.

The slugs are in heaven.

Now I'll admit that none of this is much to complain about, weather-wise. People from most parts of the world would snort and laugh at what we call a 'storm', our weather is mild by anyone's standards. 

And I won't complain too much, because these mild misty patterns are exactly what allow us to grow these lush blossoms.

But just imagine, if you will, what happens when the many-petaled, fully-blossoming beauties in our gardens are soaked with rain. Well, I hate to talk about it, but you need to know.

The flowers act like giant sponges. The raindrops slowly seep in between the petals to the natural cup in the center of the blossoms, and slowly but surely weigh them down. The flower heads droop, their stems weaken, the blossoms turn to mush and fall, beaten and tired, to the ground

Sigh. It's a heartbreak. Every year, at the beginning of June, I remind myself of what is to come.

And because I am a kooky optimist, I think that oh, THIS year will be different. 

Alas, this year is NOT different. We are drippy and damp here, folks, and June, once again, has played with my heart. 

At least this bird can stand up to a good solid soaking.

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