A(nother) Rain Day

Hurricane Ida is working her way through this end of Pennsylvania today.  Some parts of the country need the rain, but we sure don’t since just last week three and a half inches came by here, and another inch and a half the week before that.  These tropical storm systems just keep pouring out the love this year and I’m really starting to get tired of the endless gray skies.

But I won’t complain about too much rain.  Drought sucks and rain I can deal with, so as long as it doesn’t start raising the river and flooding out my neighbors…

deck plantings

A wet corner of the deck.  I think it’s only been dry enough for bench cushions for two weekends, and as a result the ‘Margarita’ sweet potato vines have moved in.  Also taking advantage of the endless rain is this pink lantana.  I need an overwintering plan for this one, I like it.

With all the rain I’ve been stuck pacing back and forth, looking out the same back windows every ten or fifteen minutes.  Sadly that’s the waterlogged view I’ll be sharing today.

deck plantings

I love the bright pink of ‘Alice Dupont’ (Mandevilla), and she doesn’t seem too upset about the rain, just a little windblown.  The red geraniums and blue and purple angelonia on the other hand…

The deck plantings looked better in July when the calibrachoas were overflowing with flowers and the geraniums were fresh, but even after a September soak they’re still nice enough.  I guess this came to mind since a certain someone who lives next door told me she was planning on ripping out and tossing all her plantings next week since it would be after Labor Day and they looked ‘tired’.  I can’t even imagine looking out the window here all September and October and seeing bare earth and barren pots… what a crazy thought…

deck plantings

Some more compact lantanas which I’d also like to overwinter plus a new favorite, ‘Tattoo Blueberry’ annual vinca (Catharanthus).  By the way the dead looking plant in the center is carex ‘Red Rooster’, and it’s probably not really dead but I’m never 100% sure.

My deck shall remain filled with pots and hopefully plants well into October and November, regardless of endless rain and even a few ‘tired’ looking plants.  Sunshine is actually in the forecast so that’s better, and even though I didn’t mind walking through the garden today (several times) with an umbrella to admire caladiums, I know it will be much more fun and also warmer if my feet are dry while I do it.

Hope you’re gearing up for a nice holiday weekend (Labor Day here in the US) and are enjoying or anticipating weeks and weeks more of beautiful weather.  I also hope your container plantings will carry you through those weeks, and I’d love to hear what kind of plants are thrilling you this year.  I sometimes like to try new plants… in a very cautious and restrained way of course.. and a few new suggestions couldn’t possibly hurt 😉

24 comments on “A(nother) Rain Day

  1. swesely says:

    I hope you get only rain – no tornados. You definitely need a plan for that pink lantana – it’s a beauty.

    • bittster says:

      Well we really lucked out. Lots of rain but the worst of the weather stayed well south of us so I’m grateful for that.
      My fingers are crossed that I can start a few cuttings this weekend, not just for the lantana but for a bunch of stuff… and that might be a problem come October!

  2. I tried wintering over a lantana as a houseplant. It turned woody and wasn’t happy the following spring. I’ve read you should take cuttings instead. My pelargoniums aren’t happy with all the rain, and the sweet potato vines planted with them are taking over. No matter what the weather, some plants like it and some don’t, but overall a lot more like it wetter than usual than drier than usual–and I don’t think we’ve gotten as much rain as you.

    • bittster says:

      My sweet potatoes are also really out of control this year. I love it and wonder if it’s the rain and they just needed more water all those other years. But… the angelonia is usually foolproof and shares a pot with the sweet potatoes and is much less happy. Ugh.
      I’m going to try cuttings for the lantana. Last year I tried taking in the whole plant and it was dead in a few weeks. I was surprised since they’re usually pretty hardy as far as drought and neglect.

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    We are having gorgeous weather here. Not enough rain to make a difference. It all swirls around our area. Sounds like you will have plenty of time to figure out what to do with the lantana. It is a gorgeous plant. It just love where you have it. I hope you have a good weekend. Try to stay dry.

    • bittster says:

      Within hours after the storm passed the weather is beautiful. The air has a touch of fall to it which I don’t like, but the sunshine and clear air is wonderful.
      Have a great weekend as well!

  4. pobept says:

    Those of us that live in the semi-desert southwest know that rain sometimes come at inconvenient times, but rain even if in excess in the long term is always a good thing.
    Happy Gardening

    • bittster says:

      I agree. As a policy you will rarely hear complaints from me about too much rain or even too much snow, drought is many times worse and I’m miserable when things start dying off.

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Your lush plantings seem to love the rain. It’s been miserably dry here and the garden never reached its (or anyone’s potential). Enjoy the Labor Day weekend.

    • bittster says:

      Hopefully fall brings some relief for you. Looking at your photos I would never guess that your garden is struggling, but there’s something a good rain storm does that endless watering just doesn’t replace.

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    I never could rip out a plant that still had potential, and that generally means until frost cuts them down. I usually have withdrawal symptoms for a few days after, so I guess the neighbor is a ‘rip off the bandaid’ kind of person. 😉
    I rarely have luck with bringing things in for the winter. They either have bugs hatching out or slowly die an anemic death due to lack of sun that they are used to. I’m a pretty poor houseplant tender for some reason. I know what to do, I just don’t! It must be the grounding I get when I am outside that keeps me going. 😉
    Looks like the weather is going to be ideal this week… enjoy!

    • bittster says:

      ‘Poor houseplant tenders’ of the world unite! So far it’s going to be you and I and I’m sure there will be a few more who join our group. Overwintering for me is usually a pot thrown into the (slightly heated) garage and then ignored until February when I panic because I ignored them all winter. Stuff potted up and brought into the winter garden also gets a lot more neglect than you’d think. It’s only if the winter is cold and snowy that I hide in there, otherwise it’s back outside to look at dead and dormant things just so I can spend time (doing nothing usually) outside 😉
      It doesn’t help that the windowsills in this house are far too narrow…. and I hate watering…
      Enjoy the cooler temps! It’s feeling almost autumnal this morning and I kind of don’t like it but hope it will motivate me to work lol

      • Eliza Waters says:

        It was convenient to have the excuse that it was raining or too hot to work outside, but we’ll have to get creative to find a plausible excuse now that the weather is ideal, ha! 😉

  7. Pamela Hubbard says:

    Your garden looks lush and beautiful! I love the containers in the corner of the deck. Great colors and textures. I must confess that I am rather tired of all the rain here although the garden doesn’t seem to be suffering too much. My son-in-law spent the night in his car trying to get home from New York–he is still sitting it out, waiting for the water to recede. P.x

    • bittster says:

      Ugh I hope he’s recovered from the ordeal. The photos and videos of what the storm brought on are a solid reminder of how we are still part of the natural world, whether we want to be or not.
      I think I mind the endless rain less than I do the constant overcast gloom. I absolutely know I would not do well int he Pacific Northwest!
      Enjoy our taste of autumn this weekend!

  8. Tim C says:

    Your deck looks great! I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the performance this summer of a torenia, ‘Gilded Grape, in a large pot with a yellow agastache, petunia ‘Dark Saturn’, and a purple jalapeno. I’ve never had a torenia get so large, or do so well in full sun. The pot has looked lush all summer, despite very little rain until this week (admittedly, lots of watering).

    • bittster says:

      I found a similar torenia a couple years ago and then never again! -and it’s completely different than the regular forms so it’s not as if you can just substitute something else. I will need to try it in full sun next time, and try it with a few excellent pairing… something I rarely manage…
      I’m considering filling the winter garden with overwintered cuttings so I know I have something nice for the planters next year. It’s been iffy lately finding cool new things now that my go-to nursery has closed, but the chances I take acceptable care of overwintered cuttings is so slim I don’t know why I’m even considering it.

  9. Cathy says:

    Your deck still looks wonderful, even if it is wet. Our summer has been wet too, but September is looking really promising and it hasn’t rained for four whole days now! I couldn’t pick just one plant that I enjoyed this year, but the Heliopsis was new to me and it has been flowering non stop since June, and the little Eryngium I grew is also lovely – also a first for me. As for pots, it was a bit of a washout, but my Lemon Verbena did well, so my tea supply for the winter is already secured! 😉

    • bittster says:

      I always forget lemon verbena. It’s usually hidden in the herb section and the showiest annuals are always so distracting that I overlook it unless I brush on by a plant. The fragrance is amazing and I’m always running a hand over it to get a cloud of scent into the air.
      Heliopsis are so reliable and long blooming but we almost always end up with a red aphid infestation. I try to ignore it but they are completely disgusting and it’s the one thing which keeps me from filling every corner with this awesome plant.
      I bet your tithonia are really exploding right now! My sunflowers are all going downhill and I could really use a few tithonia to finish out the season. Maybe next year!

      • bittster says:

        There’s a prairie planting of heliopsis near my parents, each summer it’s just a sea of gold!

        Roadtrip to Long Island

      • Cathy says:

        Red aphid sound horrible and I just hope that never makes it across the ocean to us! 😉 The Tithonia are indeed great and it is such a shame they don’t get going a bit earlier in the season as it is already very chilly at night.

      • My tithonia are doing great this year! Until the recent rain, they were standing nearly as tall as the Joe Pye weed. I start them from seed in March, and they start blooming in early to mid-August. The monarchs love them. It’s always hit and miss whether the seeds do well for me, but when they do, I always have extras, so you can have some next year.

  10. The problem with my container plants is they’re mostly all on covered porches, so I still need to remember to water them even when it’s raining. Spoiler alert–I don’t always remember, and I have a hanging basket of petunias who resent me now. Good luck rooting that gorgeous lantana! I grew Tattoo Blueberry and Tattoo Black Cherry this year in boxes along the vegetable garden fence, and I love them, especially the Black Cherry. The vinca in containers did much better this year than that in the ground. It was just too wet–a shame because I planted a LOT of it this year. They’d get all yellow, drop leaves, and then start to recover and look decent again, when, BOOM!, another big storm would hit. They couldn’t catch a break. I do also want to tell you how well the pink-ish coleus cuttings I brought from your house last fall wintered over well and are thriving now in a pot on my deck. The white and green wandering Jew, is going great too! Maybe this week I’ll get over my seeming writer’s block (not that you can tell from this comment, haha!) and write a post about my container plants. I took the pictures for it weeks ago now!

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