Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rain gardening

We hear a lot about rain gardens—which are all well and good—but not having a rain garden, I currently limit myself to rain gardening.

The performance of various gardening tasks under light and pleasant precipitation works very well for me. In fact, given the difficult dry shade conditions I have throughout much of the GWI property, it makes things a lot easier. Today I planted some shade perennials I’d previously overlooked—mainly because they have brief spring bloom periods—in one of my front beds. Because the ground was nice and wet, not just from today’s rain but also from a good soaking last night, my trowel went in like butter. All I had to do was the usual lopping of various hard roots running throughout the planting area. God knows which tree they’re coming from.

So good luck, brunnera, polygonatum, and bergenia (actually the second bergenia I’ve planted here). Long may it rain; you’ll need every drop to get established in these difficult conditions.

In the meantime, the sunnier parts of the garden are under the reign of the rudbeckia triumverate: lancianata, triloba, and hirta. “David’s Lavender” phlox (truly mildew free!) is looking fabulous, as are the speciosums.

One disappointment this week was that I truly could not find a “knee-level” shot for the current Gardening Gone Wild photo contest. Nothing seemed to work, so I am illustrating this post with a couple of the ideas I didn’t pursue.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

The dappled light on the first photo is quite beautiful.

Carol said...

You've had a lot of opportunity to practice rain gardening this year, it seems!

(And I could never get a good pic for the GGW photo contest, either!)

Garden Mad said...

We had quite a lot of rain too but I can usually find a spot under the trees where it is dry while the rain is fastest and by the time the water starts to drip right through the branches it has stopped raining and I can move on. Yesterday my family thought I was mad carrying on in heavy rain but I only got wet running in to get my next cup of tea!

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

Those Rudbeckia trilobas have been outstanding on my corner of Katy this summer. It always makes me smile to hear what we have in common!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I love gardening in a light rain, it's perfect for transplanting things and also good for weeding. Like you, I'm always surprised at the length and thickness of tree roots that seem to be everywhere I dig.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

I like your shot a lot, even if you think it did not work. So little rain this summer that we've had very few chances to work in it. It can be such a refreshing experience.