With each day of rain, browned leaves are shed that cling to nearly bare branches of the garden’s Japanese maples. Most years, leaves fall in a shorter period long before the start of winter, but this typical process was somehow interrupted, so leaves that have been raked and gathered to clear walks and patios must be cleared again. One more rain should do it, which, given this year’s frequency of rainfall, should not be long in coming.
On this rainy weekend (again), another two and a half inches increases the yearly total near sixty-five inches, average for Mobile, Alabama, but a mess for more poorly drained clay soils in this Virginia garden. Parts of this property are moderately sloped and well drained, and nearest the house shallow rooted maples and tulip poplars create the driest shade, but no place in the garden has been dry since late spring.
I’ve resorted to calling the lower third of the rear garden “the swamp”, and hopefully the name doesn’t last into next year. This area is bordered by the constant trickle of a spring that emanates from beneath the garden shed, and immediately behind the garden is a poorly drained area that resulted from poor construction of a community drainage pond. While these are contributors to the area’s dampness, it is the amount of rainfall that is the culprit in killing a dogwood, and threatening every other woody plant in the vicinity. I look forward to spring, to be past this wet weather (I hope), but also to see what has survived soil that has been saturated for months.