Monday, August 27, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

I know. I know. Gardeners are supposed to love rain.

And I do. Really.

But this is getting ridiculous.

My yard has received more than 10 inches of rain in the last 10 days. And, as  I write this, we are receiving still more rain from Tropical Storm Isaac. Since June, we've had several weeks of rainfall exceeding four inches. The first two days of June brought us a 6-inch deluge!

I know exactly how much rain we've had because we monitor our rain gauges carefully ( see "The tool I can't live without"). And I'm beginning to think I need to start building an ark.

Parts of my backyard are underwater 

Last week, the soil finally became so saturated that water began ponding up in the backyard. The 2.5 inches we've received so far from Isaac has created even larger ponds in the yard, with water seeping into our detached shed. Rick had to pull out his ancient rubber Wellies to stay dry on his forays to and from the shed.

A river runs through it!

Now, many of my plants think this is wonderful, and are partying like they were just chosen to appear in the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. They appear to be growing about 6 inches a week (scorpion tail, Mexican sage, passionvine, and chenille plant among them). So much for my low-maintenance yard: It took me 1 1/2 hours one day just to beat the butterfly bed back into submission with pruners. 

This passion flower is loving the rain!
But my yard is landscaped largely with tough, drought-tolerant specimens, and some of these look none too happy about now. The beach sunflower is about to rot, the muhly grass looks mushy and the bulbine tubers are downright spongy. 

Can we just have a week to dry out?

Yes, this is Florida - where it's always either feast or famine, flood or drought. Gotta roll with it. Or is that row?


  1. Hope your plants can hang in's a good thing that a lot of drought resistant plants can also handle short periods of standing water. We are definitely replenishing our water source and that's a good thing. What plant is that large plant in a pot in your first photograph? It's very tropical and beautiful!

  2. Hi Susan,
    We certainly are replenishing our aquifers and sending lots of fresh water to the bay -- though a bunch of that freshwater is dirty stormwater, so algae blooms are a potential threat, especially at this time of year. I do not recall ever having so much rain in previous summers, and it's somewhat ironic given that so many other parts of the U,.S. are in extreme drought. I wish I had the room for a big underground cistern so I could store some of this water for dry times, because we know there will be dry times ahead.

    The plant in the pot in the center of my pathways is red fountain grass. There is white lantana in there too, but I think it has been overwhelmed by the fountain grass.

  3. Oh no! Don't wish the rain away! I so enjoyed waking up this morning to rain. Glad you've got the wellies to get you through!

  4. You can have our rain, Daisy! I woke up to a flooded back yard. Our ground is so saturated from all the rain we've already received this summer that the new rain has nowhere to go so it just ponds up.

  5. Nice post. Beautiful garden. i pray for rain. Thanks fro posting it.