Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hallelujah! The Rains Have Come!

The rains have come at last. The temperatures have fallen to manageable levels. In fact, the high temperature was only 74F (23.3C) on Thursday! Incredible. Our neighborhood actually missed out on some of the rain that fell in the region - particularly to the South in Alabama - but I still think we must have ended up getting close to 2 inches of rain this past week.

The rain and cooler temperatures have had a miraculously restorative effect on the garden just when I was close to giving up hope.

Remember the twisted pineapple sage and the withered zinnia that were already looking drought-ravaged back in late June before the record heat wave?

Here's how they have bounced back with the cooler, wetter weather:

Pineapple sage, back from the dead

Zinnia, twisted no more

The rest of the garden is looking good too. Here are some of the plants that caught my eye in the front Eastern bed:

Ajuga may have been hanging tough in the heat, but it seems to be loving this wetter weather. It is even threatening to overgrow its plant tag!

The heat and the drought scorched the older leaves on this Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry) seedling, but the new leaves look green and healthy.

I was worried about clematis integrifolia (a bush-type clematis) after the older stems flopped over and the leaves curled up. But as you can see, fresh new foliage has emerged from the center of the clump. A hopeful sign!

Over in the vegetable garden...

I still haven't gotten any beans off these Emerite pole beans yet, but the new leaves look gorgeous and untouched (so far) by any of the pests that chewed holes in the older leaves. I haven't sprayed at all. Maybe the predator insects have the upper hand now?

I should be harvesting okra by now, not staring down at tiny seedlings, but at least a couple of these Emerald okra seedlings are looking healthy and starting to put on a little bit of growth.

This hardy hibiscus plant is squeezed into the vegetable garden alongside cucumbers and tomatoes. I think it's going to bloom in the next day or two. The beautiful blossoms only last one day. I'll try to take a photo for you when it happens.

And two final shots from the back (Western) beds:

Cosmos had been looking tired in the heat. Some of the plants had actually turned brown and died, others were just resting and biding their time. Now that the rains have come, this one is back in bloom.

This is the gaura I didn't trim. I'm glad that I procrastinated so that I could get this photo of the stems laden with water droplets just moments after a strong rain shower.

I am so happy to have rain. I hope that all the other gardeners and farmers struggling with drought this year will soon receive the blessing of sweet, cool rain dousing their troubles and washing away their worries.


  1. Hey! Congratulations on the rain! We've only had a little bit, one quick hard shower, but it's better than nothing. There's nothing like rain to cheer things up! It's interesting that your okra is still so small, I read that they perform well in hot weather, surely it's been hot enough!

    1. Thanks Julie :) Yes, it is odd regarding the okra. My thought is that the soil in the raised bed may have heated up too hot during the recent heat wave. The plants (not okra) that were in the actual ground seem to have done much better...

  2. Glad you had rain, we still have not. Getting bad even here along the shores of Lake Michigan. Your last photo reminds me of the recent posting I did on Diamond in your Garden a week ago. Great Minds! Jack

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jack. Hope you get some rain soon! PS - Looked at your blog. Really nice photos! You garden in a beautiful area there. My geography knowledge is a little spotty, but can I ask whether you garden in Michigan, Wisconsin or elsewhere? Looks like you have quite a bit of acreage over which to spread your garden too!


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