June 5, 2015

New Help for Gardening and Porch-Sitting

I first came to Washington in April, 1955. So I've had 60 years dealing with Washington's ever-changing weather. But never have I experienced what happened this week. At the start of the week, I had the air-conditioning on as Washington's hottest-ever May continued into June. The next day I turned the furnace back on when the day's temperature didn't rise above 64. The cold snap was accompanied by several rainy days.

Today's forecast promised warmer temps with sunshine breaking through in the afternoon. I was going to take you on a tour of the garden, as I prepare for my belated spring plantings. But we'll have to do that later, since it's still cloudy and cool.

No doubt I'll get into the garden sometime this weekend to replace the pansies with the begonias and New Guinea impatiens I bought today. Easy tasks like these are about all I do in the garden these days. I'm lucky to have my pal Joey -- who works mostly for a neighbor -- available to do the heavier work.

Gardening Aid for Elderly Gardeners
I still enjoy a little putzing around in the garden. But this last year I found I could only work the soil around a tree or a fence; I needed something to hang onto, to lower and raise myself. Then I found this simple, inexpensive garden kneeler bench on amazon.com. One click and it was mine. Here I'm demonstrating what I hope to be doing tomorrow -- replacing a pansy with a begonia.

New Headgear for Dealing with Lawnmowers, Blowers, and Jets from National Airport
As readers know, I spend lots of time from April through November enjoying the view of the garden from the rocking chair on my back porch. That pleasure is regularly disrupted by noise from jet airplanes headed to and from National Airport (others refer to it as Reagan Airport, but I never have).

I do a pretty good job ignoring this noise. But National seems increasingly popular, and the jet noise sometimes sounds like it's nonstop.

But nothing can wreck my porch-time serenity more than the noise of lawnmowers and blowers workers use to take care of my neighbors' yards. Most of my neighbors are dedicated environmentalists, and I hope one day they'll replace their grass lawns with gardens, as I have.

Until then, I'll wear these earmuffs when their lawns are being trimmed.

Okay. It's what used to be cocktail hour. These days, it's afternoon coffee time.