The Wet Patch

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The Wet Patch
« on: October 25, 2008, 02:32:45 AM »
<copied from the Australian forum>

I've talked before about the strip of roadside verge I've taken under my wing recently, that is perpetually damp from leaky plumbing.

Recently we've had several days of total downpour: the two-litre buckets I have scattered around the yard plus all the tubs under down-pipes are all full to overflowing and if you park a car off the road, the ground is so sodden that it is quite possible the car will slowly sink and disappear forever.

I went back to my verge, which is wet even when the rest of the place is parched, trepidation in my heart. Most of my hundreds of sunflower seedlings survived - they are now about 20-25cms high and have a cluster of little leaves at the crown - they are still green and sappy. Many of them were horizontal but still alive, coinciding with a huge gouge in the mud where some bright spark obviously rode a mountain-bike (you can still see the tread in the drier bits).

I had some watercress seedlings that weren't doing all that well in pots despite good-quality mix being kept very wet (lately that hasn't taken much effort) - at probably the length of the top joint of my thumb, and with miniature leaves, they had all gone to flower - very tiny flowers. So I took them, one of my broccoli youngsters, a few fenugreek seedlings, a bit of a divided-up clump of lemon thyme and my trowel, and went back to the patch.

I couldn't find the rose, black kale or asparagus I planted last week anywhere - it must have gone the way of the flood, and likewise all the second generation of sunflower weeds that I'd scattered before the deluge were gone. No matter. I separated out the individual watercress plants and carefully planted them in the worst of the seas of mud, hoping they'd like it and as they grew they'd dry the place out a bit, and planted the others in drier bits, where permanently sodden ground turned into permanently damp ground. All that survived from the earlier plantings were a number of sunflower seedlings and the mint, which seems right at home but hasn't exploded horizontally and sucked all the moisture away yet. I'd be happy if any Australians who have access to such things, could send me seeds and/or cuttings of wet-loving, rushy plants, like papyrus.

Cars tooted at me - did I say I guerilla-garden in broad daylight?