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Get Your Pots Out!

| 5/24/2017 3:37:00 PM

“Rain in the spring is as precious as oil” ~ old Chinese proverb

I doubt if this old Chinese proverb would have many fans here in my hometown this spring. Admittedly, Oregonians love to complain about the rain almost as much as they love coffee and/or micro-brewed beer. We oft lament the lack of the weather forecasters’ ability to accurately predict the outdoor happenings; or even come close. The weather apps (yes, multiple) disagree with each other, and to make me even more irritable, change in the blink of an eye. I quit checking them; easier to just look outside and have great flexibility in the plan for the day.

Well, this year’s rain went above and beyond the average rainfall by breaking a 96-year-old record.  Most thought we were just being exceptionally winter grumpy, even for us Astorians. As we hit day 167 of straight “measurable” rain – all felt vindicated – but still very grumpy. Meanwhile, Portlanders are having the same gripe, yet two hours away over the coast range our rainy season rainfall is nearly double their 46.65 inches in the same period of time. We kind of don’t feel sorry for them.

I had a new wetlands that not so magically appeared in my lower backyard during all this record breaking stuff. I would not have been surprised to see a flotilla of water birds hanging out down there in the swamp. Soggy clay soil often keeps us at bay in the winter, but a full-on marsh? How does one work around that?

Here I am chomping at the bit waiting for the ground to get workable so I can do some outdoor housekeeping, mark some plots, and do a little digging and weeding. I need to get my garden seeded! But oh no, not in the cards. What can make the winter rains pale in comparison? Stepping off a curb in nursing clogs and right foot buckles under me. SPLAT! Spread-eagle onto the pavement I go. Skinned myself up royally like I used to as a kid. So stunned I didn’t even have time to feel embarrassed. Gathered myself up and tried to shake it off but that darn foot was really paining me. Long story, short – you probably guessed it – broke the dang thing. Dreams of vegetable seeds and plants swirled down the drain as the very clear x-ray showed the fruits of my gracefulness.

Not to be daunted, I was determined to find a way around my water-logged soil and broken foot. Containers! Although my immediate issues are temporary, for many it is daily life. There are over 54 million Americans living with some type of disability making activities such as gardening difficult, or thought to be impossible. Growing your own food, herbs, and flowers is a way of reconnecting with the world while nourishing our bodies, minds, and souls. I am here to tell you - regardless of disability, gardening is for everyone. It is all a matter of making adjustments. Garden therapy! Containers! Yes! I am excited! Let’s get to it! Okay, I will park the exclamation points (for now).

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