Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Walk in the Rain........

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum 'Shasta', Cornus kousa 'National'  Dogwood, Diablo Ninebark
It's just the right amount of rain today....gently bending the dogwood branches so we can enjoy it's blooms at eye level. The Viburnum, on the left, glows even on this gloomy day... layered in white, like a bride's wedding gown. Every year I am delighted with it's beauty, especially punctuated by Diablo on the right, wet and slippery leaves, purple black in the rain. The urn was headed for the landfill when we dragged it home a few years ago; it's moved about, adding a little "something" to the garden when needed. was free..what can I say ;-).

Temperatures are still fairly cool for this time of year, but, the sea is warming and soon there will be beach days and boat trips to enjoy. As you can tell from past posts, rain has been a revisited topic for a while now. "Too much", we complain, "too often" as well.

There is a garden in our back yard, I do not recognize.... blooms flow and float in wet ribbons bowing in the drizzle....rain drop jewels everywhere ....sadly, without an audience of honey bees...too cold. My understanding is, there are about 150 different weather pattern combinations! This year, we are experiencing one, not familiar to my gardening life.

While I fully expected early blight would have struck the tomatoes by now, they appear to be thriving in this rain. Leader of the pack in size is OSU Blue, however Mexico Midget is the only one with baby tomatoes forming. The new dwarf Tasmanian Chocolates are growing steadily and it will be interesting to see how large the plants get and if the fruit is as delicious as hoped for.

Tasmanian Chocolates
Our water comes from a well...don't think I have mentioned that before.... and so, family is very mindful of how much we use, and how we use it. The downspout on the house has a fitting which diverts rainwater to a cistern  (out of sight on the messy side of the house). A small pump forces water up to the garden when we need it. In summers past, when we've run out of rainwater, we take a second cistern to a local stream and fill it up down there and bring it home, draining it into the permanent one. We have never run out of water in our well, but it is a system we put in place initially for hot long dry summers but now, we use rainwater exclusively in the garden.

She's not pretty but she does the Job!
A sad result of so much rain.... lilacs didn't have their 'day in the sun', and neither did 'Constellation' dogwood. It lacks fruit they say, although this is contested......... Goodbye to your fading, vintage muslin dress blooms....till next year, dear beautiful tree... but I will watch closely in case you do form red berries!

Cornus x Stellar series 'Constellation'


  1. We had rain everyday last week. Sounds like you have had your share as well.

    As I'm sure you know, I am very interested to see the progress of the Tasmanian Chocolates!!! ;-)


  2. I'm amazed your tomatoes are doing so well. While mine are alive they are far from happy with this wet cool weather. No growth at all right now. The trees and perennials on the other hand are quite happy with so much to drink. I'm reminded of west coast winters. This doesn't feel like summer at all.

  3. Bren, One forgets to remember how precious water is when you simply turn on the tap and it flows freely.
    Our back basement has an indoor well, which has always seemed to me to be a bit of an unusual feature. It certainly is a through back to the days when our house was not on city water. The well never empties. In fact we must use two sump pumps running 24-7 to rid ourselves of an over abundance of water. This excess water is a constant reminder that we are very, very close to the Credit River.
    Your tomatoes are looking great. I can't wait to read your reports on the taste of the different varieties.

  4. Tasmanian chocolates?? Tomatoes?? Michele and I, as chocoholics, gotta know more details please . . . ;->

  5. Those Tasmanian Chocolate tomatoes sound intriguing. I looked it up and sure enough it's from a cross with a black Russian tomato. I love those kind but they don't do well here. Glad to see your tomatoes looking happy with all of the rain you're getting!

  6. Oh Bren.. your tomatoes (all tidy and mulched) look so gorgous! Funny, my my OSU Blue tomato is also the leader of the pack in my garden. Mind you, it was one of the only ones the deer didn't munch! Must check my Mexican Midget.. I think it's been a week or more since I gave it a good look. I had been pinching off flower clusters as they appeared to give the plants more time to size up. Now, it's time to just let them grow like crazy!

  7. Happy Canad Day Brenda, Captain and Chiefie! E is enjoying his first Canada Day as an official, real, genuine Canadian!! ~ J

  8. Hi Brenda. Allan is really excited about finding IBC Totes that are reconditioned food grade 275 gallon 'water' barrels. It looks a LOT like the water container you and the captain use for water. I that what it is? We have been looking for something large that we don't have to mortgage the house for. I can feel gardening season sneaking up on us!!

  9. Thanks for the tip Brenda. I need to get one of these!!