Friday, November 23, 2018

Rain, wonderful rain

It rained during the wee small hours of Thanksgiving morning.  It wasn't a lot, just 0.65/inch, but it gave my garden a good soaking, scrubbing away the dust and dirt left by several rounds of Santa Ana winds and freshening the air, without causing significant problems for the areas burned by the Woolsey and Hill Fires.  It was just our second rain of the season, which is measured from October 1st to September 30th each year, and it brought our total to date to a whopping 1.2 inches.  There's another storm forecast for the end of next week but it's still much too soon to say whether this season's prospects will be an improvement over last year's total, which at under 4 inches for the year was the lowest I can remember.  Do I sound like I'm complaining?  I don't mean to.  I'm only trying to modulate my expectations. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the stroll through my own garden yesterday after the rain spruced it up.

View looking toward the harbor as the storm moved out.  We played peek-a-boo with the sun all day yesterday and still are doing so today.

Does the garden look cleaner and fresher to you?  It did to me but then there were rain droplets all over the foliage.

My husband recently refinished the patio table to help it stand up to moisture.  It works! 

The birds were back at the feeders, greedily consuming the seed I put out a couple of days before.  Right now, as I type, I can see the squirrel is also back, working hard to bypass the feeder's "squirrel-proofing."

Two of my 3 Yucca 'Bright Star' were still acting uptight.  I'd thought this might have been a natural strategy to protect their cores from excessive heat but our temperatures are cool now.

It turns out that the sharp points on the unfolding leaves had pierced the tips of other leaves as they unfolded, keeping all of them stuck in place.  I freed them yesterday.

Raindrops decorating Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt'

Both Agave 'Blue Glow' and the Coulter Bush (Hymenolepsis crithmifolia) behind it were also covered in liquid diamonds

The last remaining leaves of Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' shined too


The front garden looked fresh and clean as well.

The rain even erased the bird plop on the pavement I'd failed to clean up

The area in front of the garage is finally beginning to look as I'd intended it to

I'm pretty pleased with this area behind the hedge lining the street too

And the moss covering the dirt path leading to my lath (shade) house is filling in after a tough summer


For once, I didn't have any watering I needed to do.  Even the plants in the lath house were well-watered without any help on my part.  Like my cat, all I needed was to find a spot in the sun to enjoy the day.

Pipig was stretched out with her paws above her head as I approached but she took umbrage with my interruption of her sun bathing


Whatever your weather, I hope you get the opportunity to get out and enjoy fresh air this weekend.


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

30 comments:

  1. Everything looks all fresh and clean! Glad you got some rain. The tapestry colors of your garden are evident in your photos.
    Talking of getting out in the fresh air, it was a hair-raising 3 degrees when I got up this morning. More like January than November, yesterday and today have been quite brisk for walking, but with dogs, one must go out! Tomorrow is supposed to be a more pleasant 40. ;)

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    1. "Forty degrees" and "pleasant" aren't words I'd think of linking, Eliza. I complain of "freezing" when the outdoor temperature dips much below 60F!

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  2. With a clear beautiful view and the rain taking care of garden chores, it's easy to see sitting there all day to enjoy. You can grow so many amazing plants there too so it's fun to see them all happy like the gardener!

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    1. It's incredible how a little rain can cause my mood to soar, Shirley! My only regret was that, because the rain all came during the dead of night, I wasn't able to do my usual running about filling plastic trugs with water my rain tanks couldn't capture. Still my 50-gallon tank is full; my 160-gallon tank accumulated about 80 gallons; and my 265-gallon tank is well over 1/3rd full.

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  3. Your garden has filled in so much over the last couple of years. What will you do for fun when there is no more room? I remember when you dug out the grass in all those areas - seems like it wasn't that long ago.

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    1. Ha! Well, I've already pulled some plants that couldn't hack the conditions here for one reason or another and I've pulled other plants when better options presented themselves. I recently yanked out a ratty group of Agapanthus in one area to make way for a new Leucadendron, which still left me more clumps of Agapanthus than I can count. And then, there's still the back slope to contend with...

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  4. So glad you had some rain. I know how precious it can be. I always love it when it rains, although, here in Ohio, we have had more this year than I can ever remember. People complain about rain all the time, but to me, it is a life giver and I know my gardens are always thankful for it. Your gardens do look perkier to me.

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    1. I've found that drought makes people value rain a lot more, Cindy. People here used to complain about rain too but now you seldom hear anything but positive comments - unless the rain causes mudslides of course!

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  5. Happy for you Kris ! We have gotten about 1.5" since the series of storms came in Tuesday night.Saying goodbye to the dreadful smoke at last.It will be clear and sunny over he weekend , so I hope to get some of the cutting back done-a little frost and a little rain and everything is laying down. Not much is better than a garden after rain.

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    1. Our air quality wasn't nearly as bad as that up your way, Kathy, but the rain was still a tremendous help in that regard here as well. I'm starting on garden clean-up too as the cooler temperatures make that activity much more pleasant.

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  6. Oh, I'm so glad this weather system brought rain as far south as your area. I think this is the first rain of the season seen from southern Oregon south. It's sorely needed, even if it's not much.

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    1. Every drop is appreciated here, Evan. A heavy marine layer has given us another 0.02/inch since the rain fell on Thanksgiving. Fingers are crossed we get some more next week.

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  7. Yay for California rain! I’m so glad you got it. Pipig Is a doll, and I’m glad you solved the Yucca mystery.

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    1. It may have started as "election anxiety," Loree, but the plants were clearly afraid to raise their heads - or, er, leaves - to check out the terrain until they were given a helpful prod! ;)

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  8. Oh that's brilliant news Kris and hopefully from what you say there might be more wet stuff on the horizon before long. Your garden looks as if it's sparkling.

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    1. It was sparkling, Anna! I love seeing raindrops on foliage - it's become all too uncommon here.

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  9. These pictures really convey the magic and freshness of the garden after a good rain; the big view over the harbor even has what I think of as a 'Van Gogh sun'. So happy that it wasn't enough to threaten the areas scoured by fire.

    Also cheering to see you responded to the call to Free the Bright Star Two! #FreeThemAll

    Pipig has clearly not picked up on the holiday's spirit of sharing and thankfulness with her "This is MY sunspot" attitude, but then it would be unsettlingly un-cat-like of her to do so.

    Enjoy your sparkling garden!

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    1. One of my Aloes literally pulls its foliage up to protect its core during the heat of summer and I'd thought these Yucca were employing the same strategy, Nell, but then they never loosened up. When I posted a photo on Instagram earlier this month, "election anxiety" was proposed as the cause. Made sense to me! In any case, the 2 plants loosened up with a little gentle help.

      As to Pipig, that really was a stink-eye look, wasn't it?!

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  10. Rain is magic! Your garden looks great. That happens to my 'Bright Star's now and then, too. Just as you say, a flick of the trowel and they are free.

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  11. How marvellous to see everything looking so green.
    Over here in North Queensland rainforest trees are wilting from lack of rain! Everything is looking much browner than I remember from two years ago.

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    1. The drought in parts of Australia seem worse than ours but then so much of that continent is open bush land, which doesn't benefit from the irrigation I can provide my garden here. I hope you're enjoying your trip despite the browner landscape, Jessica!

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  12. The first long shot looking over the harbor was brilliant - almost like a painting. Bonus points for using the word "umbrage" as well!

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    1. Ha! Even long ago when I was in middle school, teachers used to comment that I used "archaic" terminology - apparently, the habit has stuck.

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  13. Oh my goodness, that rain really greened things up, didn't it?! Your plants are positively glowing! Pipig is a sweetheart!

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    1. Rain makes a remarkable difference here. I'm hoping for more!

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  14. Wonderful rain! No matter how much one waters, it seems the plants are more richly nourished through rainfall. Your plantings are looking great.

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    1. Mother Nature is certainly more even-handed with moisture delivery than man-made irrigation systems, Susie!

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  15. Your opening picture is oh such a joy, beautiful!!

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    1. Thanks Diana. Rain creates some wonderful sights. We have more moving through right now.

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