It has been raining off and on almost all week in Alabama. Throughout the state and the Southeast Wednesday and Thursday, there was destruction and death caused by strong thunderstorms, winds, and tornadoes. Personally, I was spared and am thankful for that. Most of my six offerings this week are related to that rain, though.
1. As the featured photo suggests, I am fascinated with rain or dew drops on plants, especially on succulents and broad leaf plants. Several pots of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ are budding generously now after their winter die back. Due to their tight unfolding leaf structure, the plants create interesting reflections on the water drops.
2. The few columbine plants (Aquilegia) I have are beginning to leaf out as well. The globe-like drops on the leaves give completely different reflections than those found in the sedums. The water drops on the lacy-edged trifoliate leaves remind me of dew on Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis), a plant that unfortunately, no longer seems to be sold by nurseries in the Birmingham area, much less in the “big box” stores.
3. The blooms on this Camellia japonica are rather weather beaten. But I find it interesting that rain drops can adhere to the bloom and not to the leaves.
4. Vinca minor ‘Variegata’, however, rarely seems weather beaten–even after I thought that I had eradicated it in the area pictured below. Just the smallest snippet left in the ground can be the beginning of a healthy bed of vines. It is not at native to the US and can be thought an invasive by some. I suspect that it can be bothersome in the UK as well, although it is native to central and southern Europe. Nonetheless, it can be an effective decorative ground cover.
5. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, it has been damp or downright rainy most of the week, so I spent some time viewing gardening rather than doing it. Actually, I spent several hours watching Monty Don’s “Big Dreams Small Spaces” on Netflix. In one of the shows a “stumpery” as opposed to a rockery was mentioned. I don’t particularly desire a pile of stumps in my garden–no matter how artistically formed or well planted with ferns. There are too many snakes in Alabama for that. But I do have a couple stumps in the wooded area of the garden that could serve for more than bug hotels. One, the remains of a mature oak that was the victim of strong winds about five years ago, is about 24 inches ( 61 cm.) in diameter. It is beginning to rot out, so I figured that something creative could be done with it. I cleared out some maple leaf viburnum and oak leaf hydrangea around it, dug out the rotting and beetle munched center, and turned it into a planter. Later in the spring I might dig it out a little more and replace the hellebores with ferns.
6. I’ll close this post with the usually dry creek bed that I mentioned last week. The photo below shows well both how much rain fell in the 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday and how easily hellebore seeds might be scattered along the creek’s path. Notice the green hose (not a snake!) running along the right side of the creek. That is for watering beds in the garden in August and September when rain does not fall for 24 days or more.
For those wishing to share what is happening in their gardens or to see lots of other interesting garden photos from many different places should visit the site of The Propagator for participating guidelines and dozens of links to well illustrated posts.