We started with this scene on Monday. Monday, the day when temperatures and humidity were both above the 90 degree mark, even here on the midcoast. And no breeze until much later in the afternoon. It was hot. Ingrid, Mikey and persevered and cleaned out this wild garden area that had been sown with wildflower seeds and then pretty much left to its own devices. We were almost able to finish clearing it out, thanks to a dip in the river and Green Bean’s frozen strawberry cream pops. And LOTS of water.
By the end of the day on Tuesday, another stinker of the day, we had the beds planted (including some rather daring transplants that we hope will take with lots of watering). The last task was to mulch everything, hoping to conserve moisture and to keep weed regrowth down (I know we did not get out everything.) I usually don’t like mulching perennial beds, but it seemed like the best choice for this situation, especially at the back edge to keep unwanted incursions at bay.
It really was daunting to look at the tangled mess and imagine that something good would come of it. Of the wildflower mix, there were shasta daisies and echinacea. My guess is that there was more in the mix, these were just the ones that won the survival game. We saved these, and hope they will survive the transplant.
The task now is to water, water, water, which is something the owners will be doing. Our job was to get the beds in shape so they can take care of them.
Mikey and Ingrid were incredible troopers, slogging through these two days. Sweating through it actually. There were a few times when we felt really stupid swimming through the hot muggy air. The reward, though, is how nice things look in the end — our efforts do have a purpose. And the real reward will be in a few years when the plants have matured and filled in.
But please, no more total rescues like this in sweltering heat.