Garden log, 7.25.15

Today’s temperature was only in the high 80s, so I felt brave enough to venture outside and tend long-deferred tasks. Weeded grassy area off the deck; I’m impressed with the resilience of Eco-Grass, a fine fescue blend I’m trying out. I sowed it in cool weather, early spring, and did the requisite watering to get it established but since then haven’t watered or fed, or even mowed. It’s long, at about 5″, but what’s growing in the shade is still very green. I’ll have to be careful establishing it in the main pathway between house and shed.

Made notes of shrubs to buy for fall. Started weeding rain garden; weeded & mulched maybe 20%. Weeded and mulched 1/3 of ophiopogon path, watered with nettle tea. Made more comfrey tea. Both plants have made a rebound after a brutally hot and dry June.

Moved a Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) to where the side gate will be (oh, yes; we’re getting a fence for the yard to contain Henry). Watered and mulched it, the existing jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides variegata), and the ‘Yuletide’ camellia. Moved 2 loads mulch to the very damp corner behind T’s room; perhaps later this week I will till it in to improve drainage. Ferns looking superb in the rain garden and hanging in there in the new rain barrel bed. The fungus that grew on the blueberries earlier this year seems to have stayed away. Found a big fruit on Arisaema.

arisaema seed head

Immature seed head on Arisaema triphyllum.

Taking a deep breath, again: Calming (myself) after the storm

We knew rain was coming yesterday. They sky was gray all morning, and I swept up piles of pollen from our deck and dumped them in a large green tub before the storm could blow it everywhere.

The rain started around noon and continued through the night. At 6:00, I got a tornado warning message on my phone. The cell was located just north of me and was heading north. A week or two ago, we got a tornado warning at 4:30 in the morning and we huddled in the hall bathroom until the warning expired. Last night, we decided based on the news that it was okay to continue with dinner. Out our windows, we saw steady but not torrential rain, and little wind.

We were fortunate. Two miles north of me, the roads look like this:

A massive oak tree fell in the storm last night. This is two miles from my house.

A massive oak tree fell in the storm last night. This is two miles from my house.

No one appears to have been injured in the storm, but a tree crushed the roof of a house slightly closer to me, there are many downed trees like this, and power is out in many areas. I’m not taking any chances with any more tornado warnings.

How much rain did we get? This is my weeding bucket from yesterday. It had weeds but no water in it when I went in the house at noon.

Yes, that says 8 1/4 inches of rain.

Yes, that says 8 1/4 inches of rain.

By the way, the rain garden continues to perform brilliantly. No standing water in it this morning, but wow, are the ferns and Iris virginica happy!

Have a safe and happy weekend.

Garden log, 7.2.13

Guess what? More rain today. According to Weather.com, we’ve had 10 inches of rain in the past 7 days.

moldy rubber duck

Even the rubber duck in our pond has had enough. And our mosquitoes have grown to the size of sparrows.

The rain garden (can I bless its heart?) is taking everything Mother Nature throws at it. I can’t believe things haven’t rotted away, but it’s lush and healthy.

rain garden, July 2013, looking lush after 10 inches of rain this week.

Today my Rudbeckia and Crocosmia bloomed for the first time. And lots of fat buds mean more blooms to come.

Rudbeckia hirta

Crocosmia

Hope it’s good gardening weather where you are.

 

Post-Andrea: Rain garden resilience

Garden update: Bring your own snorkel.

Tropical Storm Andrea blew through last Friday, dumping just over 5 inches of rain on us. The typical June rainfall for our area is 3.4 inches. It rained yesterday and again today; I don’t know how much.

High water in the rain garden during Tropical Storm Andrea

I took these photos of the rain garden during a break in between downpours.

Rain garden processing its 5 inches of  rainfall on Friday.

andrea 3

If we get any more rain, my plants will be forced to learn to swim.

Garden log, 5.22.13

Aside

Transplanted the Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit) into the rain garden. I hope the improved conditions will encourage it to forgive me for moving it while it’s in bloom; if I didn’t, I would forget. It prefers wet conditions and its former home could only be described as bone dry. Promptly got a nice solid drink of rain. I imagine I have sacrificed this year’s bloom but I can live with that.

Penstemons blooming today. Overcast, muggy, 84 degrees. Almost 4 inches of rain so far this month. Summer is here, but just for a day or two. Weekend looks promising.