Sunday, May 29, 2022

Unofficial Summer in My Garden or How to Deal With Too Much Rain

Memorial Weekend in America is the unofficial start to summer. We look forward to remembering our brave veterans by getting together with family and friends, firing up the barbecue grill, and celebrating in our backyards. In the Poconos, frosts are usually over before this date; therefore, I also finish planting the vegetable garden and numerous pots of flowers in the few days before the celebration. This year, the planting is not happening. There has been a deluge of rain for the past two days. 

Water, of course, is essential to all life, and our gardens need it for healthy plant development. For the uninitiated I can explain: water enters a plant's stem and travels up to its leaves, where photosynthesis occurs. Photosynthesis is how plants manufacture food in the form of sugar. Too much water, however, injures plants, compacts the soil, and leads to erosion. Root loss occurs, and the plant fails to grow. Wetness causes fungal diseases such as powdery mildew. Extreme summer rain can leach nitrogen out of the soil; nitrogen is vital for photosynthesis.

I'm looking through the window, observing these negative effects--I'm sure my plants are screaming for help, except for the weeds, of course. The good news is there are ways to minimize weather outcomes. Enjoy my pictures, then read my six suggestions. I am so happy that I toured the garden before the rain started and took photos.

The Entry Garden: Alliums rule.

The Front of the House: Left: the azalea before the rain. Top right: annuals waiting to be planted in the stone garden - it will be white this year. Bottom right: Into the Serenity Garden.

The Serenity Garden: Ferns exploded with the rain.
The Woodland Walk: Brunnera, May applem, and ferns. Ephemerals (bottom) have 'disappeared' now.

Bluebells and Ferns in the Woodland Walk
Froggy Pond and Cottage Garden: white vibernum behind the fence, red twig dogwood blooming, and more allium.

Forget me nots at the edge of the Cottage Garden
The Kitchen Garden: I finished the planting before the storm, but will seeds germinate? Broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, and kale are doing well in the cold frame. The insect netting prevents the cabbage white butterfly from laying eggs on the vegetables.
The Herb Trugs: The new trug was a Mother's Day gift. It has flowering herbs; the old trug is planted with herbs from the Bible. Victor will paint the new one to match the otherl

Ways to deal with too much rain:

  1. Select native plants. Native plants often fare best as they adapt to local conditions.
  2. Choose plants that are more resistant to fungal disease and pests. This information will be on the label. Maintain space around your plants to create good air circulation.
  3. Make wise choices when buying trees and shrubs. Don't choose trees with inherent weak wood or shallow roots such as willows (Salix spp.) Willow is a fast-growing but weak-wooded tree very susceptible to damage in storms. 
  4. Create some raised beds. I find they provide better drainage than conventional beds during heavy rainstorms. 
  5. Amend your soil with organic material to help with drainage.
  6. Create a rain garden to soak up rainwater runoff

Some of my native shrubs and trees are blooming: ninebark, a pink vibernum, and black cherry.


A wise choice of tree for a wet area--my dawn redwood is thriving in this spot in the Serenity Garden,

The rain garden captures runoff water. It is full this morning.

A new project this year is the meadow garden. I sowed wild flower seeds in early May. Torrential rain followed and mainly weeds have germinated. I am waiting to see if any flowers emerge. The used gazebo I bought with my birthday money is coming along nicely with a new roof and new benches inside. A fresh coat of paint will complete it.

Meadow Garden with weeds, gazebo, and stone cairn.


I am finishing this posting the day before Memorial Day. The rain has stopped. The garden is too wet for planting but I can work on my pots with dry potting soil. Tomorrow's weather looks promising for the festivities, so we will be able to fire up the grill after all.

Happy Memorial Day,


Pamela x

Seedlings waiting for the soil to dry

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  1. It's all beautiful, as usual, Pam, in spite of the storms and sogginess! Where I live, we had the threat of rain and storms, but the rain that did fall was light. Rain gauge says just over a quarter inch fell over the past two days. I love all your allium. Do you plant them new each year, or have you found a variety that reliably returns? Your gazebo seems the perfect addition to your gardens!

    1. Kimberley, My allium comes back every year. I have several varieties including 'Purple sensation', drumstick allium, Allium sphaerocephalon, and 'Globemaster'.

  2. Your garden is looking lovely. Here in Connecticut, we are in the same phase, with hundreds of seedlings to get planted before we go away in just over a week!!

  3. Gorgeous and informative!

  4. That is an enchanting gazebo, a good focal point, and a lovely place to sit.

  5. Love those alliums! All of your garden looks lovely. You've obviously made the right choices about plants.

  6. Beautiful garden. Have a good Memorial Day.

  7. I'm so glad you managed to take some photos of the garden before the rain! We have had lots of rain this month, at least the water butts are full again but everything grows so quickly including the weeds! Your meadow looks good I hope you had a good Memorial Day.

  8. A beautiful garden I so enjoy seeing Pam....and great sage advice.

  9. Some good suggestions there. Your garden is looking lovely, as usual, and I love the new gazebo.