Thursday, August 08, 2013

Here Comes The Rain Again

I tell you what, I don't ever remember a time of so much rain that lasted for so long.  I'm beginning to wonder if Alabama is going to turn into the rainforests of the future and are the chickens going to start growing webbed feet! The photo above was taken from my bedroom window as I peered out, watching yet another afternoon thunderstorm rumble over.  It either rains like hell, just sprinkles a little, stays cloudy and threatening all day or just pops up showers on and off all day.  About every 3 or 4 days it seems we get a nice sunny day or two.  And it's unusually cool.  Now, for us in August, that's 80's you know.  We have only hit just over in the 90's maybe 4 or 5 times this summer.  Normally we'd be in the 100's by now.  The garden is still plugging along pretty good though.  Between my back and the rain though, I just haven't been able to get much done other than a little canning and pickling, so I don't have any photos of new progress or whatever.  It was partly sunny on and off today though, so I was able to get some photos while I was picking tomatoes and such.  I don't have a lot of flowers blooming right now but there are a few things and I thought I'd show ya'll some of what I saw.  I know it's not very exciting but I'll come up with some more interesting stuff soon.

I transplanted part of a humongous hosta from my grandmother's old place and this is one of it's blooms.  I did not have to bend over or anything to take this picture; it is that tall. (I'm 5'-6" btw).  The hosta is in a giant pot on the deck at the moment until I can make the permanent bed for it to reside.

The lantanas are beautiful as usual.  I got nothing to do with that.  These have to be one of the easiest, most zero requirement or effort of any plant.  Stick 'em in the ground and forget it.  I knew they did well in dry conditions, which is why I always have at least one.  (If I forget to water it, it doesn't mind.) But I never knew how they would do deluged with water.  Well, apparently they are okay with that too.  And the butterflies love them.  What's not to like?!

Allen gave me some sunflower transplants and they are doing pretty good.  This one got broke by the dang rain but I tied it back up.  Maybe it will live.  I want to try to save seed from these if I can remember before the birds eat them all.  They are already working on some of them. These are not the really huge ones.  The seed head is maybe 4 inches across.

When I was picking corn and admiring the lovely zinnias today I noticed that the bluebirds are raising batch number 3 of babies for the season!   I wasn't sure if they would go for three this year but they sure did.  I guess they really like the house location.  They ought to since it's inside the garden fence and protected by hot wires at night.

I love zinnias!  They have really gone wild in this area; I never sow these anymore.  They just volunteer every year.  However, I made a bad mistake ever letting them grow here because they are in my grape vines and they are getting so they are smothering my grapes.  I have been tossing the old seed heads over in another area where nothing grows much in hopes they will take up there, as I will have to ruthlessly purge them from my grapes next year.  I think I can probably convince them to move over.  I love having them in the garden border because they attract so many pollinators and birds and such.  And they make great cut flowers if I get the urge.

See!  I actually have a few grapes this year!  There are about half a dozen or more clusters like this on this one vine.  The other vine is too young but I believe it will bear next year.  These are a seedless variety and are quite tasty but still a bit small.  I hope they improve a good bit next year.  Over the winter I must build them a proper arbor with all those cedar limbs we saved from the tree from my Moms' house.

The rain does not deter the snake doctors (dragonflies) from their appointed rounds, thank goodness.  We don't have much trouble with deer fly anymore thanks to these sweethearts.  There are so many varieties here now I've kinda lost track but I might be seeing the same species at different ages and thinking they are a different type; I don't know.  I have been very happy to see quite a lot of the really large ones this year.  Those buggers are about 5 inches across.  For here that is big although I know in other areas of the world they can grow even larger.

The native mountain mint is in full bloom and has a wonderful smell.  The bees must agree because they are all over this stuff.  Bees, wasps, flies, everything.

Lots of the blue dragons this year too, and the green ones, but they are not as friendly and won't let you get very close.
So, maybe I'll have a halfway informative post next time or some progress on something to show ya'll.  Until then, we'll try to stay dry and I hope the weather is agreeable where you are.


ErinFromIowa said...

Lalalala lala!
I just adore garden walk n talks. All the flowers make me so happy.
Fall is peeking around the corner. The leaves are starting to dry out a bit here.

Ed said...

It has been yet another unusual year in a whole string of them. I can't remember the last "normal" year we had but it had to been before the drought last year and the five years of wet weather before that. Seven years ago? I'm not sure how anyone can not believe that climate change is occurring.

Although really cool compared to normal, this year hasn't been too bad on moisture for us. We just got through with a little bit of a dry spell but got a nice shower the other day bringing us back up to normal for moisture this year. But I still can't get over how cool it is every morning in the dog days of summer!

woodysrockyridge said...

We've had so much rain. Thankfully we have not had the rainfall that our neighboring counties to the west of us have had. We're comparably dry with four inches in the last three days.

edifice rex said...

Hey Erin! Nooooo!!!!! don't say "fall"!! because then it comes winter! Bleh! I dreamed the other night I woke up and all the leaves had fallen off the trees and it was cold. It was horrible. I was so glad to wake up for real!

Hey Ed! Yeah, it is weirdness everywhere; there is definitely something occurring. All the more reason we need to grow our own food, simplify our lives and shun rampant consumerism.
Glad ya'll are out of the drought though!

Hey woody! Yeah, I thought the midwest was kinda dry but I see people in Kansas and your area just almost flooded at times. Glad ya'll have not been so hard hit.

JO said...

Love the Hasta, I had one up in Pinetop and it was getting ready to bloom. I was really sad to have to leave it behind. My friend somehow managed to take. All the garden looks so wonderful. Can grow much of anything here but cactus.

Anonymous said...

We are about to drown along the gulf coast. My garden is rotting on the vine. Too much rain, I got a few cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, egg plant, and okra. My heirloom tomatoes didn't like all the rain. rotted. I won't complain because just a few years ago, everything was brown.
Love your lantanas, mine seem to have a powdery mildew on them. Probably from rain as well.

Island Rider said...

Thanks for the tour of your garden. It is beautiful! The dogs tore mine up and I am so discouraged. Thinking if doing container gardening next year. Zinnias are among my favorite flowers but we cannot grow them here. Some day, I want to live in the mountains so I can have a real garden!

edifice rex said...

Hey Jo! thanks! and you know, cactus are the one thing I absolutely can not grow! I kill 'em deader'n a doornail.

Hey Anon! well I hate to hear ya'll are just going form one extreme to the other! my squash got the mildew but so far they are still eeking out a few every so often.

Hey IR! That is one of the exact reasons why my garden has a sturdy fence around it. lol! Nothing goes in unless I want it to.
I'm surprised ya'll can't grow zinnias! I really thought those things would grow just about anywhere.

Bone said...

Rainy here, too. We had our wettest July since '67, I think I heard. I've never seen anything like it. And as I was born in '73, I wouldn't have :)

At least you have some pretty things to look out the window at.

Swamp Dog said...

Wow, I haven't heard anyone call dragonflies "snakedoctors" since I was a kid! Brings back lots of memories. You have a wonderful garden, I know it must be lots of work but worth it when you enjoy the harvest.