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Hunter: A Wet Spring

06/06/11 7:55AM By Edith Hunter
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(HOST)  Commentator Edith Hunter has been hard at work in her garden again this spring, despite the rainy weather.

(HUNTER)  It is safe to say that for most Vermonters it was a wet spring. When the sun did come out, the beauty of the world was overwhelming - the lilacs, the apple blossoms, the green, green grass - the sight was spectacular.

But the sun did not come out very often. One day in mid-May I wanted to pick rhubarb and asparagus. The sun wasn't out, but at least it wasn't raining. I did wear boots in case my garden was muddy.

I have a little garden house at the edge of the garden, midway across it, where we keep our garden tools, the rototiller, baskets, colanders, knives, and a chair.

I decided to attack the rhubarb first. That would be straightforward and quick. Then I would pick the asparagus. I knew that I couldn't resist weeding as I picked, and I might be at it a long time.

The rhubarb is looking great this year since head gardener, Charles, has  been giving it lots of compost and mulch. I had cut maybe 10 stalks when I felt the first drops of rain. I hurried to cut 10 more before it began raining in earnest.

Back I went into the garden house, found a colander and a pail for the leaves, pulled up a chair, and set to work cutting up the rhubarb, as the rain beat down on the roof.

Since the pattern for the entire month had been showers, then clearing, then showers again, I planned to wait out this shower and then go out and cut at least 20 more stalks. Both the shower and I were soon finished and I hurried back, pulled another 20 stalks before the next shower arrived and I again retreated..

I soon finished preparing the rhubarb, but the rain was not finished. This time it was accompanied by thunder and lightning. Mt. Ascutney, due north, looks down on my garden. It had disappeared from view.
     
The door to the garden house opens wide and I can take in all 100 feet by 80 feet of the garden. Little puddles had gathered at the top of the raised beds and small rivers ran down the paths between the beds. I have always bragged about the wonderful drainage in my garden, and today I saw it in action. Soon after the storm had passed, the water was all absorbed into what must have been nearly saturated soil.

After this shower I went to the asparagus bed which was directly in front of me. I had cut perhaps 10 asparagus shoots and pulled maybe ten milkweed that are trying to take over the bed, when the rains returned. Back I went into the garden house.
     
There were two more showers before I had picked all of the asparagus and at least some of the milkweed. There would be no extended weeding today.

What a May!!
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