Rain on the parade

rain on the front yard gardenYesterday, starting around 10 in the morning the sky opened over the longest running Fourth of July parade in the U.S. of A. It rained on miles of flag wavers, fire engines, Cub Scouts, Navy cadets, bagpipers, majorettes, trombone players, and drum corps. It poured on at least one politician running for governor, an ex-con running (again) for Providence mayor and all of the hands they shook and babies they kissed. It sogged picnics and postponed cookouts. It (temporarily) dampened everyone’s enthusiasm for illegal fireworks. And it soaked my dry-as-dust garden. Finally. This might sound unpatriotic coming from a resident of Bristol (admittedly, one of the few whose house is not draped in bunting) but after a long stretch of breezy, cloudless, and mostly crisp and perfect blue skies, for me it was the best day of summer so far.

raining on the back yard garden

Near as I can figure — why aren’t weather websites more forthcoming with historical statistics? — almost 3” fell here. (There was a good 5” at least in my tubtrug this morning. For accuracy’s sake, I really should invest in a proper rain gauge…) Even though a lot of it fell too fast-and-furious not to just run off into the bay, for a few hours at least, while I took advantage of its steadiness to spend blissfully lazy hours reading fiction on the couch and listening to distant drums with a dog on my feet, it soaked the soil and I swear today I could actually watch my garden start growing again. And not just the crabgrass either.

Is your garden getting the weather it needs? Are you thoroughly enjoying your holiday weekend too?

Frigid air

It’s freezer-ish out and fridge-ish in.  Especially out in the plantry.

The outside temperatures have been forecast to plunge into the singles and inconceivable negatives for windchill or “feels like” temperatures for the next and past couple of days and I’m a little worried (a lot, a little) about the poor kids out there.  Yesterday morning I got up at 4am when the howling wind woke me (an hour before the alarm) to make sure they weren’t all frozen.  — As if I, barefoot in my bathrobe, could have reversed the process at that point.  (My great-grandfather, so I’m told, was just as nutty.  Plant Anxiety is a hereditary trait.)

Orange in the east.  Lavenders and geraniums featured.There is a heater running – an electric oil filled radiator – when I remember to turn it on.  Lately I’ve been leaving it on even on sunny days just in case there’s too much crème brûlée in my evening and I might forget.  And yesterday Z stopped at Ace is the Place on the way home for some clips and hooks so that I could hang dog blankets in front of the drafty crappy doors for a little extra assurance.  blue for the west door.  Ponderosa lemon and agave featured.(I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes the latest trend in home decor and I’d leave the blankets up indefinitely but the dog might protest.  He’s been very generous though, so far.)

But that’s my only plan for this terrifying temperature dip.  I have no back up.  If the power goes out, those plants could become icepops in a matter of hours.  Hours that I’d most likely be spending down the road making sure more important plants don’t die.  It’s ok.  I’m resigned.  I love my kids but almost everyone in the plantry is an orphan from work – I’ve already given them a second chance; a third might be too much to ask.  And mostly it’s ok because it would be a lazy gardener’s nightmare chore to move them all inside – especially after my trip to Logee’s.  It was difficult enough to find flat surfaces for a few 2″ cuttings – where the fershlug would I put the enormous lemon or the agave?   It’s so much easier to cover the doors with dog blankets and hope for the best.

In honor of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day hosted by Carol of May Dreams gardens, here’s a list of what’s in bloom at Champignon (that’s our fancy name – means mushroom, yo – for the house and gardens):  Pelargonium sidoides, Pelargonium – something scented and variegated – maybe ‘Apple’?, Lavandula dentata,  a new Begonia from Logee’s – ‘Candlelight’, an old Begonia maculata var. ‘Wightii’ or “Polka dot” from Logee’s and an aphid ridden African violet.  Everybody but the begonias and African violet are in the plantry.

Pelargonium sidoides in full bloom

Stay warm this mid January and worry free (unlike me)!