Rain, rain, go away

This is getting a little ridiculous!

I can hardly walk in the lower end of the back garden. The lawn is saturated, the planting beds are a swamp. and those are the areas that are usually dry. The depression that runs along the lower southern border stays damp through the year from the constant trickle of a spring, but today the water is inches deep, and who knows if the rodgersia and cobra lilies have been swept away.

If you watch the news you could consider that we are lucky to measure our rain by the inch, and not the foot, and I suppose this is better than whining about drought. And why complain anyway? Except for the few plants that have been carried out to sea, the garden is lush and happy. We have had no extremes in hot or cold this spring, and the rain is not much more than is normal. Still, I want to be rid of the mud. I want a string of dry, sunny days so that I have to wonder if the time has come to bring out the hoses to irrigate the new plantings. Then, it can rain, overnight.

The garden is growing vigorously, but it has not reached the “jungle” stage, when you have to squeeze and push between hostas and nandinas to struggle down the stone walkways. That is another two weeks from now, and then my wife will crusade with her silly, lightweight pruners to chop back anything that dares to stray into her path. Occasionally she accomplishes something worthwhile, and rarely does she do much harm. If I object she says that if I would take care of it, she wouldn’t have to, and how can I argue with that?

Today you’ll see a few photos of the garden here, rather than only blooms of a single plant. When I see splendid gardens photographed in magazines I’m certain that mine could never stand with those, but I can grow a hellebore or an iris with a flower as beautiful as any. Regardless, here are a few pictures before disaster strikes, when everything flops over its neighbor, and it can be difficult to distinguish where one plant ends and the next begins.

There are only a few areas of the garden that are worthy of photographing, since lurking around every other turn in the path there is a pile of this or that waiting to be hauled off. My wife informs me that this summer she will keep after me to clean up these messes, but I’m not convinced. It is so much more enjoyable to create, to dig and plant, rather than maintaining and cleaning up, and I am guilty of avoiding these tasks for as long as possible. The sloppy ground provides a convenient excuse.

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9 thoughts on “Rain, rain, go away

  1. Beautiful vignettes. That’s my style of gardening also. I would like to know what variety of maple that is in the second picture.

    • Japanese maple growers often identify green weeping maples with the generic identifier ‘Viridis’. I am far from an expert in identification, but it does not appear to be ‘Waterfall’ or ‘Sekimori’, two other commonly found green leafed maples, so I go with ‘Viridis’.

  2. Dave, I would love to see more “wide shots” of your garden. Your posts are inspirational but I often feel like I want even more information when you describe things but l long for more pictures. Let us the readers be the judge’s of the suitablity of your garden. I am sure it is much more then you think it is. Thanks I love your postings. PS. Just bought two more japanese maples today because of your inspirational prior postings.

  3. Perhaps in a few weeks I’ll be able to see a few other areas worthy of photos. Lots of perennials are not fully grown, so it will be late in the month or June before those areas look like much. One week everything’s just right, and the next day it’s an overgrown mess.

    As soon as the Japanese iris are blooming I’ll post my annual pond review, so that will be in another two or three weeks with photos of the ponds and surroundings.

  4. Having just recently installed a water garden, I appreciate any and all info I can get! I am having some problem find just the right color (dark mauve I guess1), Japanese Iris! Not much interest in water gardens around here , but it has created a whole new project that I am enjoying! I dug up the old reliable vegetable garden, used the soil elsewhere and the remaining hole a great spot to start planning the water garden details! Pretty cool! It’s small, (10×12) but it’s better than weeding the veg. garden! Great site, you have! thanks

    • I hesitate to admit that I’m color blind, and I’m not certain that I have any clue what “dark mauve” is, but have you looked at ‘Lion King’ Japanese iris? The outside margins are a dark purple (maybe dark mauve, though the flower is mottled with white and yellow), and in my ponds and wetlands this is a wonderful variety with extra large blooms.

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