Friday, January 18, 2019

Rain soaked

Over the past four days we've had 4.23 inches of rain, which is a tremendous amount in a short time for us, especially given our recent history.  For three of those days, we were entirely socked in, as if enveloped in a cloud.  We couldn't see the horizon and could barely make out the outline of neighboring homes.  While a heavy morning marine layer isn't unusual here, being wrapped in a blanket for three solid days was a ghostly experience.

The harbor was invisible during the day and, even at night, the lights below us were largely imperceptible

The lovely paperwhite Narcissus have been plastered to the ground since Sunday evening

I planted 3 flats of creeping thyme last week, only to have local critters (opossums or raccoons, I'm not sure which) pull the plugs up, hence the addition of the empty flats laid across the path as protection

A combination of time, wind and rain has stripped the flaking bark off the strawberry trees (Arbutus 'Marina'), leaving them mostly smooth.  The red color of the trunk and limbs is more pronounced under the wet conditions.

After removing as much of the Asparagus fern foliage and roots as I could, I planted the area in front of the mimosa tree with Centaurea 'Silver Feathers', Pelargonium x sidoides, Lobularia maritima, and Thymus serphyllum 'Minus' before the rain began.  I scattered larkspur seeds last weekend too.  I'm still looking for a large pot to hide the mimosa's battle scars.

The mimosa tree looks as though it's about to fall into space, doesn't it?

Ozothamnus diosmifolious (aka rice flower plant) looks great decorated in raindrops

The moisture-filled air lends a sense of stillness to everything, even in photographs

Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt'  wasn't its fluffy self after 4 straight days of rain


This was the view from our master bedroom window looking out across the front garden on Wednesday morning

So far, none of my succulents seem to be suffering due to the rain.  In fact, most of them look great.  These are planted along the moderate slope in the front garden behind the hedge that runs along the street.

Some of the Aeonium arboreum are starting to bloom.

The rain and cooler weather have transformed this succulent bed on our southwest side.  The Aeoniums (A. arboreum, A x haworthii 'Kiwi', and A. 'Sunburst') still looked terrible in early November but they're not dormant any longer.

Before the rain started, in the area just beyond the Aeonium bed shown in the previous photo, I planted cuttings of Aeonium arboreum and A. haworthii 'Kiwi Verde' in the bare area surrounding a dead tree stump at the top of a relatively steep slope above our neighbor's driveway.  As the rain came down hard at intervals, I was concerned that the cuttings might be washed away but they held up fine.


The sun has already made an appearance this morning and tomorrow's temperature could get up near 70F/21C.  It's nice to see some blue sky again and I look forward to drying out a bit.  There's no more rain in the forecast until early February.  I hope there's some blue sky and warmth in your weekend forecast too.


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


37 comments:

  1. Such a difference from your usual photos. It really does look like you live on the edge of the world!!

    Sorry to hear about your thymus. Here, I've had rabbits nibble on the green tips of our native thyme, but they have never paid attention to the serphyllum.

    Enjoy your rain, fill your water tanks… then please send those clouds our way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The raccoons or opossums - it could be either - aren't eating the thyme but rather digging is up in hopes of finding grubs in the loose earth around the new plugs. They're relentless!

      My rain tanks were full even before this last series of storms. If only I could store more! I'd love to be able to direct the rain your way. I know you need it too!

      Delete
  2. Your garden looks cozy enshrouded in fog. Feels like home to me. So glad you're getting some rain. Damned Raccoons!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can a shroud be cozy, Peter?! It was fine for a day but then I started to feel as though I was living in an episode of The Twilight Zone.

      Delete
  3. Very much like most of a normal winter in the PNW, although this particular winter has been drier and warmer than usual. We're supposed to get more wind tonight, and then clouds and probably rain on the weekend. There's partly cloudy/partly sunny weather in our long-term forecast. I read something recently that said that New Orleans gets more rain yearly than we do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your message had me looking up some average rainfall numbers, Alison. New Orleans averages 63 inches per year! Seattle averages just over 37 inches versus a national average of 39 inches. In contrast, under the "old normal" figures, Los Angeles averages just under 15 inches.

      Delete
  4. How wonderful! Doesn’t it lift your spirits when it rains! The whole garden takes on a completely different complexion, and it’s fortunate that you planted those new additions at exactly the right time. You’ve had a terrific amount and I’m just a teeny bit envious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always loved rain, Jane, but now it makes me almost ecstatic. I hustled to plant what I could in advance of this series of storms but of course I always think of what I didn't get done. These days, we never know if our last storm was the final one for the year.

      Delete
  5. Everything looks lush and beautiful Kris. Your photos are hauntingly beautiful and serene. Your 4 inches of rain is coming out way. Supposed to hit tomorrow in the form of 6-8 inches of snow. It will be a hunkering down time when no one goes anywhere.
    I'm so glad your gardens got a good and much needed drink!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry we're sending you a truckload of snow, Cindy! Stay warm.

      Delete
  6. Wow, so glad you have had ample rain. Someone must have danced a good rain dance, ;) filling your rain barrels to the max!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rain barrels had already been topped off during the rain the previous Friday. That's the problem with having all the rain come at once. I need a real cistern! And a place to put it...

      Delete
  7. I have to say that's a million dollar view from your master bedroom. What a gorgeous garden you have. I think the fog really created a dreamy landscape. Do you save the rain-water by holding them in rain barrel since that part of CA can have drought? Beautiful pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've got 3 rain barrels, KL. Two collect the rain that falls on the roof of the house and the third collects rain from the roof of the garage. All 3 are now full, providing me with 475 gallons of rainwater. As rain is almost entirely a winter event here, I could really use a much larger tank but unfortunately I don't have space for one that could hold several thousand gallons.

      Delete
  8. It was a wonderful series of rainy days, as your garden shows.

    Very nice choices for under the Mimosa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure the asparagus fern will try to mount a comeback but I'm ready to do battle to hold it off. If only the raccoons had a taste for asparagus fern root nodules like they have for grubs!

      Delete
    2. I found a volunteer growing in my garden hidden under one of the Callistemons. Oh, the horror! Hoping i got it all.

      Delete
    3. The damn plants are all over the place here. If I'd had any sense I've have started pulling them out as soon as we moved in.

      Delete
  9. The Mimosa looks rather elegant in it's shroud of fog.We got roughly 5 and a half here, with a tad more expected over the weekend. Since you are a non-FBer be advised Denver Fling registration opened today. Hope you can come !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads-up on the Denver Fling, Kathy. Unfortunately, we expect to be kicking off our kitchen remodel and earthquake retrofit in April or thereabouts so a June trip isn't in the cards for me this year. See you in Wisconsin in 2020?

      Delete
  10. Coons!! ugh...
    It is delightful to see all the succulents plump up in the rain. I can imagine how it must feel to see your garden get a good natural watering. I sort of like a line of gloomy days. However right now I would pay for sunshine. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The raccoons appear to be trading off "aerating" my soil with the opossoms so I can't be sure which culprit to blame. It's been a long time since we've had a stretch of continuous rain like this but I can see how it can get a bit tedious after a time. If only Mother Nature would parse her deliveries a little more evenly...

      Delete
  11. Wow, that’s more rain than we get in a 4-day stretch, ever! Your garden looks so bright and fresh, Fingers crossed for no flooding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were some incidents with houses being red-tagged and boulders coming down but nothing with the mass impact of the Montecito mudslides. As the Santa Ana winds are expected to return, the biggest concern at present is that trees in wet soil may come down. It seems there's always a bill to be paid for rain here.

      Delete
  12. Well that should set you up nicely for Spring!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful to see your garden reinterpreted - singing and dancing in the rain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was wonderful to have the rain too. I hope it returns again in a couple of weeks!

      Delete
  14. Diana has taken the words out of my mouth Kris :) Pleased to read that you have had more of the wet stuff. Our most recent precipitation was in the form of snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snow is a foreign concept in my part of the world, Anna!

      Delete
  15. Hope lots of the rain penetrated the ground and did not all run off. Everything looks lush in your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was somewhat sick over all the rain that came down off my roof after my rain barrels were full, only to be shuttled off the property via drainage pipes. How I'd love to have a cistern with a capacity of a few thousand gallons!

      Delete
  16. Fog gave an ethereal appearance to your garden. Everything is so beautiful. Love the photo of the mimosa tree against the foggy background!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't help thinking the mimosa looked like it wanted to pitch itself over the hedge into oblivion, Deb, but I'm probably still feeling guilty about cutting the tree in half (even if it had to be done).

      Delete
  17. The calmness and quiet of those foggy days really comes across in the photos - it's so lovely and peaceful. A very zen experience, I would imagine, and we could all do with more of those :)

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!