An All-Volunteer Army

As conservation authorities in the Ottawa area warn of low water levels
on area waterways this spring, Environment Canada’s forecast
suggests the lack of rain will continue.
CTV News

As an aside, it seemed wrong, at first glance, that a lack could continue.

While I might not express it quite that way, it certainly captures the feeling of this absence, dearth, shortage, paucity, and scarcity of rain to say that it will go on, extend, linger, keep up, and otherwise endure.

And so, too, must we.

Rain? Distant mem’ry.
Plants? About to be mem’ries.
Weeds? Growing like weeds.

It seems even wronger that near-drought conditions that are hard on the intentional components of my garden seem to have no effect on the volunteer components, apart from making them even harder to dig out of the baked-down soil.

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10 Responses to An All-Volunteer Army

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Well, there wasn’t a lack of a Haiku.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – LOL. No, but if there had been, it would have gone on rhythmically, I assume.

  2. While in Calgary we have no “lack of rain” this year, my flower garden is increasingly and deliberately becoming a dance of holly hocks and chives. Both don’t care much about the weather and have pretty flowers.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – Yes, it’s good to have gardens that don’t throw up their hands at weather-out-of-the-ordinary (which is the only kind Alberta gets, as I recall).

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    I like the distinction between “intentional components” and volunteers. A neighbour was really proud of a flowering plant that grew about three feet tall, until Joan pointed out that everyone else called that one a weed. When the neighbour went to remove it, she discovered that it had a tap root that went down about as far as the flowering stems went up! No wonder it was hardy…

    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – We have something here called burdock, which has a 2-year growth cycle. Establish a beachhead in Year 1, pretending to be a rhubarb plant, and then launch in Year 2 into a bundle of 6ftx 6ft nastiness (height and wingspan) by July of the next year, with hundreds or thousand of burrs happy to hitch a ride on whatever or whomever to wherever. And repeat. I’ve tried to dig it out and believe its roots go down forever.

  4. How dry is it? Even the indoor plants are panting for water. Then, the apple trees whose leaves have been devoured by the gypsy moth caterpillars must also be parched. We need showers of blessing.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Oh no! Our crabapple got whacked last year by caterpillars – the birds showed up to devour them just a little late to need. The tree seems to have come back this year and I am on the lookout for slitherers. Good luck!

  5. barbara carlson says:

    On our Annex balcony (too windy to put plants out), I have empty plant pots with soil as weights for the carpet. But I find plants “volunteer” to grow anyway despite total neglect. Three days ago I spotted a 3-inch high plant that I think is some kind of flower, or would be… The soil was bone dry. I rescued it. I transplanted it. Watered it. And it died. Go figure.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Can’t stand the kindness, I guess. But it’s true that plants will grow almost anywhere, including in mere cracks in big slabs of rock on the Canadian Shield. Life, as they say, will find a way.

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