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Rainy Summer Means Green Lawns, Lush Flowers

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – This year's summer rains are keeping area lawns green and the flowers blooming. One gardening expert says it's a welcome change from what has occurred the past couple of summers.

In each of the last two summers, hot temperatures and a lack of rain dried out many lawns in the area. Instead of a sea of green along area streets, it was more like a sea of brown. But that's not the case this year. Sally Cunningham of Cornell Cooperative Extension says the wet spring, combined with frequent rain this summer, has made for some healthy lawns.

"We've had other wet springs. But if it dries out all at once for an extended period in summer, then you get the browning lawns," Cunningham explained. "And what's worse -- with just a little rain -- you get shallow root systems.

But this year, when we had rain, it was a lot of rain. And when it dried, it was fairly thorough, so the root systems went deep, reaching for water. So now you have really healthy lawns."

The unusually wet July has also been good for flower gardens in the area. Cunningham says perennials are especially doing well this summer.

"Perennials have been lush and full. The flower period has lasted longer," Cunningham said. "The cool and sunny days we had for a while there really kept the blooms prolonged. It's a real joy."

The rain has put a damper on some outdoor activities this summer. But as a professional gardener, Cunningham says the weather has been just fine for her.