Are you ready Noah?

Since Sunday we’ve been stuck in tropical weather pattern that’s been sending shower after shower of rain our way and the inches keep adding up.  I would guess we’re probably around four inches officially but it sure feels like a lot more, and although the sun has been in and out I can’t remember any dry stretches that have lasted longer than two or three hours over the last four days.  Right now the forecast says two more days and perhaps as many inches and to be honest I don’t mind it yet.

gooseberry tart

Sunday morning before the rain hit I ran out and finally picked a few gooseberries.  The daughter and I spent the first rainy afternoon cooking up a gooseberry tart, and I have to say it was delicious!

Noah never really mentions much about heat and humidity, but we sure have the humidity part.  I guess endless rain will do that, and until the molds and rots kick in most of the plants are taking it in stride.  The caladiums in particular seem very happy.  Two months ago while looking at their tiny, shriveled tubers I was sure my overwintering had done them in, but to my surprise they’ve risen from the dead and are actually growing well.  *accounting note.  I couldn’t resist buying two more at $3 a piece… I have a weak spot for clearance sales, even though I don’t need any more*

caladiums in pots

Lovely caladiums potted up in some very unattractive nursery pots.  This year I’ll focus on taking better care of them… even in September…  Next year I’ll think about improving the pot situation.

The worst thing we have to deal with is floppiness.  That’s not a bad tradeoff considering those closer to the river will be looking at flooding as all this water works its way to the sea.  Lets hope we can dodge that bullet and it’s less than expected.

gray garden

Gray plants and lots of rain don’t usually go well together.  It looks nice enough anyway, but all I can see is how well the thistly sea holly is doing, and how unsuccessful I was at removing all of it last summer.  Apparently even the smallest bit of root will resprout… 

In the meantime the garden appreciates too much water much more than too much drought.  It makes for squishy and sloppy garden tours but the plants just keep getting lusher and lusher.

lily caravan

The orienpet lily ‘Caravan’ is around six feet tall this year, but still risks being overtaken by the weedy little sunflowers which are being much more aggressive than I thought they’d be.

The orienpet lilies don’t seem to mind the weather.  Most of these oriental-trumpet hybrids are sturdy crosses that grow like weeds and don’t need staking.  They’re the ones often marketed by shady retailers as ‘tree lilies’ and some of the taller ones can easily push eight feet.

lily leslie woodriff

Lily ‘Leslie Woodriff’ doing well in the mess which lines the street.  I had trouble planting her since the soil is so thin in this spot (about five or six inches), but she doesn’t seem to mind at all.

I’m looking forward to see how the late summer garden develops with all this rain.  The cannas are kicking in, the annuals are bulking up, and even the vegetable garden looks promising.  Of course none of this matters more than my newest favorite plant, a candlestick bush seedling (Senna…or Cassia alata) which I started last winter.  I love its leaves 🙂

senna cassia alata

Senna alata aka Cassia alata, the candlestick bush.  It’s not hardy, gets too big, and can be invasive in the tropicals.  It probably won’t even flower before the frosts hit but I don’t care.  It’s a favorite anyway.

I don’t think a photo of the whole plant really shows off how big and cool the leaves are.

Here’s my hand for reference. I couldn’t quite manage getting a foot in there, but this leaf is probably about two of them long.

Let me end by apologizing to those who are spending this summer suffering through heat and drought.  If I could send some of this rain your way I would, but of course it never works out that way and I hope your turn comes soon.  All the best.

$6 for two irresistibly priced clearance caladiums

$744 total so far for the 2018 gardening year.

30 comments on “Are you ready Noah?

  1. My gardening budget has gone to hardscaping. I’m in the middle of having a big retaining wall and terracing built and the backyard looks like a swamp. I was hiking in Slovenia along Lake Bled in July and saw wild cyclamen growing and thought of you! Tart looks delish!

    • bittster says:

      I saw how the terraces are coming along. You’re smart to commit to the hardscape right off the bat. I’ve been looking around recently and wondering what’s missing… and it’s hardscape…
      Lucky you to see the cyclamen on top of all the other adventures! You never know what you’ll run into when you keep your options open 🙂

  2. Hmm. I left a gooseberry bush behind at the former house because it really wasn’t thriving. I wonder how it’s doing now. We are getting rain and humidity, too, but I don’t think as much rain as you. But enough so that you can hear the waterfall as soon as you step out the door.

    • bittster says:

      I’m sure the abandoned gooseberry has put out more fruit than ever and I bet it’s more flavorful than any gooseberry has ever been. That’s pretty much how all my plants react to me leaving them behind or giving up on them.
      I’m loving the extra rain and so is the garden. All the late-planted annuals and bulbs are catching up and it’s looking very lush. I was actually inspired to do some work this weekend rather than whine about how lazy I felt.

  3. Deborah Banks says:

    Trying not to resent all the rain you are getting… We are just east of all those beautiful storms. Yesterday I could actually watch them blowing past us just down the hill a ways, missing us completely. Our rain total for the week: 3/16″ – and to add insult to injury, the Accuweather app keeps warning us of flooding.

    • bittster says:

      Ugh. That was me a few years ago. The garden was brown and crisp, but every road trip north, south, east, or west would show lush lawns and overflowing gardens. I did give up and just waited for autumn.
      Some people say endless summer sun is a good thing, so I just found the bathing suit and joined them. It wasn’t all bad 😉

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    The rain sounds divine. We have only had 1/5″ of rain this month. We usually get 4.5″. Crazy weather. Everything in my garden is living…so far but stunted. Even my tall lilies are only about 3′ tall with smaller blooms. We will see what this summer does to the garden overall. Your lilies sure are pretty. I like the leaves on the candlestick plant. The leaves resemble the Popcorn plant, Senna Didymobotrya, I bought this summer. If you rub the leaves it smells like buttered popcorn. The wind blew it over the other day. This reminds me I should try staking it. It is an annual too. Enjoy your tart. It looks delicious.

    • bittster says:

      And I thought you paid your drought dues last year with that awful summer. I hope this year it doesn’t last.
      Hey I also bought the popcorn plant this spring! It is similar but must flower smaller and at a younger age, since mine has a bunch of bloom stalks. I was just talking to someone last week about how the bigger one doesn’t have the popcorn smell, yet otherwise looks the same. I think they’re both absolutely cool!

  5. Chloris says:

    I am very envious of your squishy, sloppy garden tours, I risk falling into one of the fissures in my lawn and disappearing from view. I love the caladiums, I have never tried growing them. I love the lily ‘Caravan’ too, I will look out for that for next year.
    Snap! I’ve just been picking my red gooseberries for a pie, yours looks delicious.

    • bittster says:

      I hope your heat wave breaks. I’m actually quite surprised we’re not suffering through the same mess since that’s usually our summertime curse…. at least for a couple weeks.
      The caladiums love heat and will go limp and yellow once autumn rolls around. Maybe they’d enjoy your greenhouse during the summer, although I don’t think you’d enjoy going in there to spend time with them as much as you do in February.

  6. Pauline says:

    Please send some of your rain over to us in the UK, our soil is cracked and reservoirs are running low! We should get some longed for rain this weekend, I hope it doesn’t pass us by.
    Love your lilies, they make quite a statement.

    • bittster says:

      I hope you at least got a little rain this weekend. Every bit helps even though it often seems like the next day it’s as dry as ever.
      Sad when the trees start losing their leaves early onto a dried up lawn and garden. We get enough brown during the winter months that I don’t need it in July…

  7. Peter Herpst says:

    All of our rain falls from October until the end of June. We’re used to dry weather the rest of the year. When a rare summer shower does happen, we go out and revel in it. Hope there’s no flooding. That Cassia alata foliage is awesome!

    • bittster says:

      We made it through the rain without any real troubles. All it did was water everything perfectly and save us a trip to the carwash!
      Even without rain I think you enjoy much cooler summer temperatures than we do…. usually! Everything seems kind of flipped on end these last few summers so we’ll see where it all ends up. At least there’s always garden visits 😉

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Definitely raising the water table this week! Fingers crossed about mold/mildew.

  9. That tart is beautiful. I’ve taken to making that style instead of a two crust affair; easier and prettier. Everyone seems to be stuck in one endless weather pattern and then it switches, but not much that we would all call normal. I think the garden can take quite a lot of rain before you will get rot issues unless there is actual standing water.

    • bittster says:

      This was the first time I tried this tart, and I loved it! Like you said, easier and it looks pretty. Come to think of it I should pull out a few of the frozen blueberries and try another one so I have something to go with the coffee 🙂
      You were right about the rot. Everything seems just fine and only better for all the rain!

  10. Christina says:

    Love the Caladiums, am I right in thinking they like shade? They might be a good plant for the shady terrace.

    • bittster says:

      The caladium do love the heat and some shade so might be a perfect plant for the terrace. They do need regular watering though or else they’ll go dormant, and need to be kept warm and dry during their winter dormancy… much warmer and drier than dahlias.

  11. I hear you, Frank. We are ready to launch the Ark here, too. Love how you arranged the caladiums under the tree. Very effective, even with the nursery pots. I’m going to steal that idea next year. Your gardens are looking lush and beautiful. P.x

    • bittster says:

      The rain actually worked out nicely! Everything looks relaxed and lush and it’s kind of unusual to go into August like this!
      You should come here and steal more than just the idea. I keep adding more caladium each summer and need either another tree or a bigger grouping 🙂

  12. Cassia alata is a very interesting plant. Are you familiar with Cassia hebecarpa, a North American Senna?Your Caladiums look really great. I only have the white and green ones. And I love ‘Caravan’, I might just need a few for myself.

    • bittster says:

      The native Senna looks awfully interesting. I will have to keep my eyes open for it this winter since I’m sure I won’t feel like fussing over the tropical ones every spring.
      I always think of the white caladiums as the ones that classy people grow. All the other mixed colors can get a little ‘exuberant”.

  13. Everything looks so lush! We were in the same weather pattern at the time, but I was sick for a week with some mysterious summer bug and could only watch the rains jump-start the bazillion weeds. The downpours also identified the locations of the incorrectly attached gutters, and flattened some of the backfill from the recent cesspool installation job. So basically it resulted in a bumper crop of weeds and mud here, LOL. Your post-rain photos give me hope for the future, as always!

    • bittster says:

      Summer bugs are the worst. They take forever to go away and no one seems to have any sympathy at this time of year. Hope you’re all well and able to enjoy the nicer spells of weather!
      Ugh the home reno stories are making me feel guilty. I’m in the process of a laundry room re-model and of course I would rather be outside weeding than choking on sawdust and plaster.

  14. Indie says:

    I’ve never had gooseberries before – the tart looks lovely! We’ve gotten some rain lately, too, which followed the heat wave. Apparently that’s a perfect recipe for crabgrass, according to my garden… Your lilies are gorgeous! Your Senna is awesome. I’ve developed a fondness for large-leafed plants and recently planted a tiny Astilboides tabularis that I have large hopes for.

    • bittster says:

      This garden is also producing a bumper crop of crabgrass. I can’t imagine ever getting on top of that!
      Good luck on the astilboides, it looks very cool, but needs more water than this garden typically has… but it is so very cool. I wonder if I could find a spot anyway!

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