The rain! The rain!

Our first substantial rainfall of the new season arrived this morning at 4 a.m. when remnants of Typhoon Melor blew in from Japan. Some parts of the Bay Area got 1 foot of rain, but San Francisco got much less than that.

My garden received 2.5", and the rain barrels filled up with 240 gallons of free water. What did I do but run right down and use 60 gallons of it for some directed deep soaking. Two inches of rain does not soak down very far. Move the top layer, and the ground beneath it is quite dry.

But when that top soil layer is thoroughly wetted, additional water penetrates deeply. I take advantage of that all winter long by using the rain barrels to supplement the actual rainfall. As far as the plants in my garden are concerned, every year is an El Niño.

I keep track of the rainfall on a piece of paper tacked on the wall in the garage.

Rainfall in my garden since Jan 2008

We're a couple weeks ahead of where we were this time last year.

Along with the rain, strong winds bent the garden out of shape. I'll have to do some pruning and editing in the next few days.


In the meantime, I planted out more bulbs today, including recently obtained Dichelostemma and Watsonia.

On my way back inside, a single bright red grape leaf stopped me in my tracks.


It was already dark so the picture is blurry. Well my dad always says the best pictures are taken with the mind.

As nice as that idea is, it's still nice to have actual pictures you feel good about. It's been hard to do that with Miss Patty. Today I succeeded!

Miss Patty


Christopher C. NC said...

Is the rain over already? I guess you have to edit prune more in your small space, but still I'd wait til things dry out and have a chance to stand back up. That kind of rinse and spin can help toughen up the stems.

chuck b. said...

The rain is over. I might wait, you're right. But I tend to find that the stems all too quickly adapt to their new, non-optimal positioning.

CiNdEe's GaRdEn said...

Yay it is raining here too!!! Not as much as there though. I wish we would get more rain then wind but I will take whatever we can(-: I love rain(-: It was a major fire hazzard up here!!!!

omnicharm said...

3.8 inches in Emerald Hills!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine wanting to add more water to anything in my garden right now! We got about the same amount of rain you did, but the soil here is such heavy clay that half my garden is now under about two and a half inches of standing water. I hastily transplanted a California fuchsia and a small mock orange this evening to get them onto higher ground. Transplanting them involved digging about a foot deep in the higher ground to make space for the rootball . . . but even a foot down in the areas with no standing water, the ground was still soaked.

Frances said...

I was worried about you after watching the news, but know you live high up in a place with the word Heights in its name. Smart move with the deep watering too, your plants are lucky to be under your care. Miss Penny looks ravishing, great capture. Love your dad's saying too.

Michelle said...

And 2.65 inches as of 5:00 PM yesterday! Someday I'll have to get my own rain gauge. The wind blew things around here also but I'm going to wait for everything to dry off before I try to set it all right again.

Brent said...

I still can't convince myself that a rain barrel is efficient enough to be worth the cost. So many people love theirs that I ought to work harder to understand the benefit. Glad yours is working well!

Under an inch of rain at my house near Los Angeles thus far, but that's par for the course.

Bonnie Story said...

That Greek god seems to behold Miss Patty's fur-clad glory with awe! I'm impressed with your rain chart, we should do that here. I adore Watsonia and look forward to news about it's growth in the Spring. What color did you get - I really love the salmon-coral color Watsonia blossoms.