An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

May 5, 2009

Tension and Release

For two days the skies have been teasing us with roiling clouds, distant thunder, strong winds and occasional sprinkles - but no real precipitation. The weather forecasters have not helped either by warning us each day about all the inches of rain headed our way. Finally after two days the heavens released and we got much needed rain. Unfortunately some people in the area also got trees on their houses and limbs on their cars. If you can believe the weather man/woman, we may see the sun again on Sunday.

At work we look forward to rain days, not just because the plants need it, but it also gives us a day(s) off from having to hold hoses and we are able to get other things done. We have a very limited supply of water that is safe to use on the plants, so we water everything by hand - no irrigation system for us. During a morning break I was able to take a few well-hydrated shots.

This is a simple edible Cabbage planted at the end of last fall, but we have found that it will make a fine ornamental that will last most of the summer.
Canna Tropicanna (Canna indica 'Phasion')
Royal Cloak Barberry (Berberis thunbegii 'Royal Cloak') with Rubidor Weigela (Weigela florida 'Rubidor')
Robb's Spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides var.robbiae)
Variegated Giant Reed Grass (Arundo donax 'Variegata' )
One of my favorite combos, an unknown Siberian Iris (Iris siberica) with Ogon Spirea (Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon')
Star of Persia Allium (Allium christophii)
Golden Dawn Redwood ( Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Ogon')
Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)
Purple Heart (Setcreasea purpurea)

I hope your garden is well hydrated, your car is limb free and your house has no trees on it.


  1. We are getting more than our fair share here. We had a deluge over the weekend and tomorrow is supposed to be a wet day. Spectacular photos Les!

  2. I do love the yellow and purple combination of colors. Will have to look closer at my Weigela, I don't think it has any buds!
    We have so much rain water standing in the yard. What a swampy mess! Hope we have some sun today. (2 1/2 inches yesterday) Luckily we had no trees down, no leaks, and the garden is more than well hydrated! Save some for later in the summer.

  3. Phillip,
    I understand that we can now not expect to see the sun until Monday of next week.

    I think you have gotten more than we have on the Southside.

    Phillip M.,
    Thanks, I enjoyed taking them.


  4. Beautiful photos! We should all remember to see the beauty in a rainy day.

  5. We finally got a little rain two days ago. It has been dry here in Charleston. I hand water my garden as well. Such a great way to see what is really going on out there! Beautiful images btw.

  6. Wow! Your garden looks wonderful! Great shots of grey and color, Les! I wish the clouds here would turn grey, but that's just months away :(. I wish I can take a break from watering too :D
    Love your photos, especially that of he Cabbage and Irises

  7. It is nice not having to handwater or drag hoses for a few days. Great shots Les. :)

  8. We have finally gotten rain today - and I'm thrilled. Yesterday I was working some outside and it was August-dry - that creepy kinda dry. Love those siberian irises too.

  9. Hi Les, so glad you got the much needed rain. We are one inch above normal for the spring, one inch below for the year. Much better than last year's 13 plus below. I love the water shots, especially the Alchemilla. That one just cries out for water on the foliage. :-)

  10. Les, We have had a lot of rain...much more than usual!
    ...and it's even been chilly! I have Robb's Spurge on the list...It is a great looking plant. Your photos are excellent..and so far the only thing falling on the oak flowers. gail

  11. Kim D.,
    I am glad our rain came a little more gently than yours.

    Hand watering is also good thinking time.

    I wish I could take full credit for the plants, but these pictures were taken at work and I can only be partly responsible.

    Thanks for coming by, and yes it is nice to take a watering break.

    Even after several days of rain, if you dig down more than a few inches, the soil is still dry.

    I agree with you on the Alchemilla. We sell it at work even though it does not do too well here.

    The oak flowers are so thick here you could use them as mulch.


  12. Nice photos--raindrops make everything look magical!

  13. Dramatic weather like that is exciting but only fun if the garden survives the onslaught. I love these raindrop photos! Everything is so lush, I can almost smell it. We need more rain here too.

  14. The garden always looks great just after a rain, with waterdrops glistening on leaves and stems. Those plants with broad, hairy leaves look especially nice when they capture the drops, just above the leaf surface. Then, everything looks just a little greener.