A blustery wet day and new ideas…

Tropical Storm Hanna visited us yesterday and brought with her tons of rain and wind. My garden soaked up all that rain like a sponge. But after hours of raining the water began to puddle on the ground. The winds were quite strong at times pulling dead branches down from the trees and eventually smaller live branches started falling too. When it is all said and done I am grateful that the storm damage was minimal and that my family was safe. Hopefully everyone else on her storm track is as lucky as we were today. Here are some pictures of the storm damage in my yard:

I lost one dead branch from my Pecan Tree. It has been hanging up there in the canopy for months now so it was just a matter of time until it fell. This was a close call, because it fell quickly and missed my dog Spaz by inches. She kind of freaked out.

The Sweetgum Tree (Liquidambar formosana) lost a few smaller branches. This tree is not a favorite of mine. It produces these spiky globular clusters of fruit that in the fall become dangerous to walk on because they are woody & prickly. They start falling from the tree in early spring and are a chore to rake up every year. It does provide some shade in my yard though.

The water runneth over from the rain barrels and is puddling on the patio. I have several puddles in the yard at the moment. Some areas are lower and the water gathers there during heavy rainfalls. But you can almost see the grass recovering & greening up right before your eyes. It was a good day to read a good book and curl up under the covers, but that was not in the cards today.

Because as I was watching the rain soaking into my raised bed this afternoon, I had a spurt of inspiration. There is a gully between the bed and the fence where water just sits and puddles every time we get a substantial amount of rain. This area is about 7-8′ long and 3-4′ wide and is a pain to mow because it is sunk in like a shallow ditch. I decided since I have to replace some of the landscape timbers this fall that have rotted, I might as well extend the bed to the fence. The benefits are obvious to me, but my hubby is probably thinking “oh-oh here we go again”, lol. Just think of all that great planting space to add more plants. Some of this area will be great for plants I planned on dividing from elsewhere as well as adding the new ones I have ordered. Rainy days are great for coming up with ideas and really studying your garden. This is when I can really sit down & think about things since I can’t work in the garden. Do rainy days inspire you to improve the garden too?


21 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary Ann on September 7, 2008 at 10:36 am

    That’s a lot of rain! Guess the good thing about TS Hannah is that some areas that need the rain are getting it. Looking forawrd to watching the development of the new bed you’re going to put in. πŸ™‚


  2. Posted by Gail on September 7, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Whenever it rains like this I wish I had a big cistern to collect it all for times of no rain!

    Can’t wait to hear about your new garden plants!



  3. Posted by Cosmo on September 7, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I DO wish we had a gentler delivery system for the rain–I’m glad Spaz is ok (Ranunculus won’t go outside during a storm–we had to drag him out with the leash yesterday morning, and that was before the winds started!) I, too, look forward to seeing the bed develop. And I, too, get tired of sweet gum balls!


  4. Posted by Kanak Hagjer on September 7, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Glad Spaz wasn’t hurt and the damage to your garden was minimal. Rain does inspire me, but only during the initial weeks. There’s so much rain here that puddles turn into little ponds complete with minute forms of aquatic life!! It becomes impossible to work with soil so I concentrate on my potted area.


  5. Posted by Sunita on September 7, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Phew! Spaz does seem to lead a charmed life! Are you sure he wasnt a cat in her last birth?

    Do rainy days inspire me? If you go to my blog and see that about 50% of my posts are about the monsoons, well, I guess you could say that. LOL!
    But seriously, there’s something about rains, especially when it follows a long dry spell, that seems to flick a hidden switch in me. It says, “get moving, sow, plant, transplant, rearrange… quick now, time is short… the hot season is coming up soon…. moooove!”
    I hear and obey! : )


  6. Posted by Rose on September 7, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I’m glad that Hanna didn’t do any more damage than she did, and that you received all this rain. We’ve had some side benefits from Gustav, too, in the form of much-needed rain.
    Any time I can sit and look at the garden, raining or not, I get inspirations for more places to plant. I tell my skeptical husband he should be thankful–the more I plant, the less he has to mow!

    I like your new shrubs in front of your house, by the way.


  7. Posted by Meadowview Thymes on September 7, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I was thinking about you yesterday and wondering if the storm was hitting your area. My daughter lives in DC and I know they were getting stormy weather.
    Rainy days make me want to bake cookies! πŸ™‚


  8. Posted by PGL on September 7, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    We definitely needed the rain Maryann. I don't think supplementing a garden with tap water is quite the same as rain. I promise to keep everyone posted when I start the new project.

    I know what you mean Gail. I have rain barrels and do utilize that for supplemental watering in the meantime. But a good rain is just so much better than what I can do for the garden.

    The rain was gentle Cosmo, the winds weren't. πŸ™‚ Spaz will go out in rain unless it is thundering & lightening. That is the only thing that scares her.

    Sounds like you get quite alot of rain Kanak in your garden. There seems to be no happy medium, it's either too much or too little. Thanks about Spaz. πŸ™‚

    lol Sunita, my dog does seem to have 9 lives like a cat. She has cat like attributes too. πŸ™‚ I wouldn't want to deal with monsoons. That is alittle too much rain for me. I do use this time to transplant or move things around. Less chance of shock.

    I'm glad you got some much needed rain too Rose. That's what I tell my hubby too, but since I usually do the mowing he isn't buying it. lol Thanks about the shrubs, I plan on redoing this bed at some time to and adding more perennials here as well.

    Thanks Linda, I'm glad I was in your thoughts. DC isn't terribly far from us. About 4 hours. Baking cookies huh? Sounds like a great rainy day activity. πŸ˜‰


  9. Posted by Darla on September 7, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Glad your family is safe and you got some much needed rain. Now let’s just see what Hurricane Ike does to us in FL.


  10. Posted by Balisha on September 7, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Hi PGL,
    Glad Hanna didn’t do more damage. I was wondering how the coast was doing. My daughter in DC said they didn’t get all that was predicted.
    As for inspiration on a rainy day…I do my best thinking on rainy or snowy days. We gardeners are always planning it seems.


  11. Posted by Mother Nature on September 7, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I could use a rainbarrel full of that please.


  12. Posted by Susie on September 7, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I guess you could say it was several rainy days that made me decide to redo my bird bath bed.

    I’m glad you are safe and didn’t sustain any damage to your home. I wondered if the storm was going to affect you. I’m glad Spaz is okay too!


  13. Posted by PGL on September 7, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks Darla. I hope that Ike doesn't do any major damage. You Floridians will be in my thoughts & prayers.

    Thanks Balisha. It's those rainy & snowy days that give us time to think & plan for the future. πŸ™‚

    I would be more than willing to share with you Donna. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Susie. A garden is never finished for us. It's always a work in progress. πŸ™‚


  14. Posted by Cindy on September 7, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Glad to hear you weathered Hanna pretty well and that your rain barrels are filled again.
    It’s amazing how quickly things green up once they have a little rain.


  15. Posted by GardenJoy4Me on September 7, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Glad to hear Hannah wasn’t too bad and that the pet kids are ok !
    My mind is already starting to think of projects next year .. that notebook will be coming out and getting a work out for sure .. once I do clean-up and put-away .. I’ll be free to DREAM ? LOL


  16. Posted by Cynthia on September 7, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Hi PGL, I’m glad you and your family are okay. Poor Spaz, that is one big branch to fall down by her! When you were discribing the area you are thinking about expanding on I thought you were going to say you were going to turn it into a little pond! It made me think “pond” when I read about it being sunk in.


  17. Thanks Cindy. My garden & grass are happy again. I'm happy to have full rain barrels too.

    Thanks GJ4M! I'm happy that my pet children are okay too. πŸ™‚ It's nice to spend a rainy afternoon dreaming of new projects for the garden. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Cynthia. I'm glad the dogs weren't injured. It was a close call, and Spaz is accident prone. πŸ™‚ I never thought about a pond. Hmmmm…if it was in the backyard it would be a great idea. I don't want one in the front though. It will be a good way to add more growing space.


  18. Posted by Karen on September 8, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Glad you are safe, what a scary close call for your pooch! I wish I were as inspired as you on rainy days – more like blahed out and not able to be too creative. I think I have a mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder, my body just feels different on overcast/rainy days. Good thing I live in Seattle, huh?!
    – Karen


  19. Posted by Aunt Debbi/kurts mom on September 8, 2008 at 2:57 am

    We are high and dry here in N. Tx. Glad you have full rain barrels. Wish we could get a little.


  20. Posted by PGL on September 8, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    That is ironic Karen, about your SAD and you living in all places Seattle. Thank you, I’m glad we all came through the storm safely too.

    I wish I could share Deb. Maybe you’ll get some soon. I’ll cross my fingers for ya.


  21. Posted by Carla on September 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Wonderful! Isn’t that what gardening is? Constant change???? I’m really admiring your rain barrels today-we are getting lovely rain! I might just have to get out paper and pencil and plan some ‘changes’!


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