Tag Archives: collecting rainwater

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…)

still no rain

Weather map

I find weather and climate to be amazingly fascinating things. The media must not believe that the rest of the public thinks the same way, judging by how they always seem to need to sex up the topic.

“Flooding! Mudslides!” was how Weatherbug packaged the recent early winter storm heading for California.

Water buckets

Thinking that dry little San Diego stood a chance of getting some real rain out of the storm, I put out a couple trays of potted carnivorous plants in hopes of giving them a taste of real water from the sky. And along the eaves of the house I placed some buckets to catch rainwater that I could use later.

Empty bucket

Unfortunately I was duped by all the buildup. Imagine my disappointment when I came home last night and found the buckets as empty as a bin of free hundred-dollar bills and as dry as the Baptist potlucks of my early teen years. We are talking dry.

Often by the end of September we have the first of the autumn rains. But not this year.

Still, the days are cooling. The skies are home to more and more clouds that look like they could deliver some precipitation. The rains didn’t come this week, but they’ll come.