rain delay

It’s almost never too rainy to garden, and of course it’s never too wet to blog. But some outdoor projects have had to be put on hold temporarily.

Yesterday, when it was still dry, we started to construct a shade panel to begin to replace a patio cover we tore down last fall. Many of the plants on the patio are shade plants, and we still have some shade plants hanging in the shade of the greenhouse. As the weather warms and the sun begins to burn hotter in the sky many of the plants are starting to need some cover.

We got this far on the panel project yesterday. It’s a ten-by-four foot frame of aluminum, with an inset of perforated aluminum mesh. The diagonal cross pieces are for both structural support and what I hope will be a level of coolness.

And then it began to rain: Light mist now and then yesterday, and occasional rainsqualls this morning. Not safe weather for operating electric devices outside, but nothing to stop me from pulling some weeds and then stopping by my favorite local nursery, Walter Andersen Nursery. There was a bald spot out front and I needed a plant to fill it. One plant.

But the nursery was oozing green life force that proved irresistible and I came home with three instead: white flowering currant (Ribes indecorum), Route 66 California fuchsia (Zauschneria california ‘Route 66’) a second plant of Ceanothus ‘Tuxedo’ to go with one I purchased last year. I’ve resolved to plant at least fifty per-cent California native plants, and I think I succeeded. The first two qualify, and the last gets partial credit. (I have a post in the works describing why.)

Of course for me rainy days turn into opportunities to collect more rainwater for the prima donna bog plants that detest the water that comes from the tap. At this point I probably have several months’ supply in buckets and barrels. And the ground will hold its moisture and require minimal watering for several weeks. I wouldn’t want to force our county’s golf courses go without water, would I? (Well, yes, actually, I would. Yet another blog post…)

8 thoughts on “rain delay”

  1. Ha! They’d promised us rain, and we never got it. And now it doesn’t even look that good for the next week. At least we know where the rain went now…

    Actually, it was good to have a break so there will be no mudslides and similar unpleasantness. But I’m ready for more rain in March!

    Nice plants. I have, so far, held back. But I agree, it’s tempting.

  2. Isn’t it amazing how innocence can last? I still believe I can go to a nursery and buy just one or two things, things I’ve already decided on. I don’t think I have actually done that more than once or twice.

    I’ll be interested to see why ‘Tuxedo’ceanothus is only partly native – I’m a big fan of the huge incestuous ceanothus family, not that I can keep them all straight.

    With you on the golf courses. I heard a couple of years ago that they’re starting to do “dryland” golf courses in western states, and some golfers regard them as more of a challenge. May their tribe increase.

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