Update from the Trucker in the Garden

                Everything started in our yard.  It’s a sold gravel marvel, flat and pounded steel hard for our parked fleet of big power units and trailers.  This is real trucking, highboys, step decks, winch tractors, and oil patch tough boom trucks. 

               We are strategically placed with main highways along 2 sides of us.    For a trucking company, it’s perfect.  

               And our fence line bordering the busy freeways seemed like the ‘perfect spot to show our community spirit, help the environment, and throw a little color into an industrial area.  These working sweat yards are invariably some of the dullest, dreariest places on the planet.

               We thought we could spruce it up a little.  So we planted flowers, and told the world to expect waving fields of daisies, sunflowers, and three-lobed coneflower; explosions of color, all along the fence moving gently in the breeze.

               The planting got a little out of control and our checkbook was working overtime but we got nearly a thousand linear feet of flowers, 3 ft wide.


Different varieties, colors, heights.

We pulled weeds, added soil, cut high grass, and smoothed hills, planted in the fall, and waited.

               Then the trouble started.  The winter was mild and temperatures rose early in the spring. It was going to be good; then a bitter frost hit and refroze everything.

               By may we were getting impatient, very little green was showing, and we planted the spring seeds 2 weeks before the long weekend.  It snowed the next day.

               So we waited and watched our seedlings that we had indoors, trying to germinate.  They were tiny and thin, and there weren’t that many.  This was getting tough.  We had a few sprouts along the fence but it was pretty sparse.  Oh well, we could fill in with the seedlings; and 2 weeks later we planted all our little sprouts.


Then the sun came out, hot and hard; over 30 degrees for consecutive days with no rain.  We have no water lines, so we ran long hoses, and drug them around, spraying, but the ground sucked it up fast.  And it turned into a daily battle of sun, and water and sweltering heat, and tangled hoses 4 to 500 feet long.   We bought a water tank and threw it into our pick up, hooked up a low-pressure pump to our battery and a hose we could hold out the window, and pour a stream onto the plant row from the cab as we idled thru the ditch.  Thought we had this problem licked.  But it was Jalapeno burn hot and if we missed a day, our garden looked like death valley.

And we missed the odd day, maybe a weekend.

               We couldn’t keep up.  This was way more involved than this pack of truckers had signed up for.  ‘Plant, Watch Grow, Enjoy, Brag about it.’  That was our plan.

               Now we were dirt farmers, and try as we might the tiny flowers and dead dirt kept reminding us how little we knew about plants.

               Example.  When it’s this hot, smoking, don’t water.  You will only burn the plants.  They will retreat into their roots to survive.  If your water, they return to surface life, only to get fried by the heat.

               So we had been frozen out, twice, and now burnt out.  And we heard from our suppliers that some of the flowers don’t bloom for 2 years, some 3.

What the Heck? 

               It’s a spotty effort out there; but we will plant and try again, next year.

But some of the flowers that bloomed; they’re beautiful.


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