COMPLEAT HOME GARDENER: June’s gloom does not mean doom

Last month was too cold and too wet to believe,

July offers hope and from rain a reprieve.

But instead of complaining and shouting with curses,

I’ve found that my pen can only write verses!

There’s mosses and mildews and you ask about mold,

And more black spot and leaf spot than ever I’m told.

Black rot on buds and hostas host slugs,

While petunias grew soggy and brains just got foggy.

The grass grew up but it was too wet to cut,

The tomato plants faded for lack of more heat,

While basil and peppers demanded a repeat

Of sunshine in June – instead we got gloom

But gardeners keep growing for all is not doom!

The lettuce and spinach and Swiss chard are happy!

Rain and wet soil makes those snap peas more snappy!

The roses exposes its deep love of water

And the clematis and kiwi have never grown farther,

Hydrangeas are smiling all ready to bloom,

Ferns loved the coolness that characterized June,

Fuchsias dangle in gray sky delight

And now I see dahlias are ready to fight

For a piece of the spotlight as sunlight returns

So gardeners unite and start planting once more,

The nurseries are still stocked and filling the store

With replacement tomatoes and cucumber starts

I’m buying more annuals and filling the carts

With more color for summer as spring was a dud

But the soil now is soil instead of just mud

We live after all in the Evergreen State

Beauty surrounds us so make no mistake,

There’s no better place to garden in summer,

Than Longview, Tacoma, Buckley and Sumner

But also in Bellevue, Kent and Auburn,

(Of course home in Enumclaw is where this I learn,)

Olympia, Woodinville, and also Seattle,

We put up with the rain, and the cold we did battle.

The rest of the country will suffer with heat

While here in our gardens we won’t smell defeat,

Instead the sweet fragrance of flowers in bloom

Will remind all us gardeners that we survived June!

• • •

Marianne Binetti has a degree in horticulture from Washington State University and is the author of “Easy Answers for Great Gardens” and several other books. For book requests or answers to gardening questions, write to her at: P.O. Box 872, Enumclaw, 98022. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a personal reply.

For more gardening information, she can be reached at her Web site,

Copyright for this column owned by Marianne Binetti.

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