I'm Plaaantin' in the Rain, just Plaaaantin' in the Rain!

What a maaaaarvellous feeling, I'm haaaaappy again!

It was great joy to finally spend almost a whole day in the garden. But I can't show you photos because it is too foggy and rainy outside. (I wrote that yesterday - I'm tidying up the draft post today and it's still raining and even foggier this Sunday morning.) So instead I'll show you this recent serendipity: photo of a misty view from our home - with magic bonus hummingbird!

Yesterday I also brought the untimely clarkia seedlings into the living room to warm up and dry out. It rained for half a day or so exactly a week ago, and the waterproof containers were half full of water, which I didn't realize. The plants are all waterlogged. Today I poured the water out and brought them in.

I had congratulated myself on creating these containers (just two seed trays with a sheet of plastic sandwiched between) just a few hot and dry weeks past, because bottom watering prevents the little pots from drying out. I find it's hard to keep the pots wet all the way to the bottom with top watering, when it's hot and dry outside.

Well, now I know: there is a time and a place for every bright idea.

So, my surviving experimental subjects are gangly and sprawly and some died and started growing fuzzy fungus. I'm learning at the expense of these poor things. I hope at least some of them come around. Here they were a few days ago, before the worst of it.

A seasoned native gardener I talked with recently said she sows seeds in February, when nature is good and ready, and I think that's exactly right. I'm going to try that and maybe adjust Dara Emory's schedule - which I was ignoring in this case anyway. His book says to sow Clarkia seeds in late October.

You probably all know what's wrong with planting in the rain: plants drown, like the clarkia seedlings are in the process of doing. As Jeannie Hanson of Geno's Garden says: "Planting in rain-sodden ground isn't good, either, because plants can't take up oxygen when water's taking up all the spaces, and plants need oxygen so they can breathe. "

So why did I plant in the rain? Is it because we have good drainage? Well, yes, mostly we do have excellent drainage with sandy soil. But in places the sandstone bedrock is near the surface, and for other reasons too drainage is variable. There must be some clay here too, because in spots the soil is like a brick when dry. Gosh it's pouring down right now...

The true answer to the question why did I plant in the rain is that I wanted to and there was no other timeslot available. It wasn't raining when I started. And I wanted to. And the rain is due to stop by tomorrow. And I'm hoping. If the rain does not stop and the plants go all yellow and die, I will have been an idiot. If it does stop, it will have given the new plantings a good deep watering and a good start.

I'm hoping tomorrow we'll have a sunrise like this one, taken a week or two ago. The beams of the rising sun sliced through the trees in dramatic diagonals as the mist rose all around. The photo is just an approximation. Please add imagination.


The photos are beautiful. Good for you braving the rain. I did consider it then got on the internet instead and here I am! Your native will love you for your effort...
Geno's Garden said…
Love your photos, can almost feel the cool foggy air and want to breathe deep and go for my own hike out to the garden in my mud boots. It's my dream garden.
I'm an impulsive gardener, too. Oftentimes, when I "should" do something I'm not ready, so it's mostly when I'm inspired.
As a garden coach, however, I always give seasoned advice. ahem
Town Mouse said…
Oh well. Some people get all the luck. Or the rain. We've had a measly one tenth of an inch so far. I've jumped on the shovel to try to get a few holes in the ground, but it's been tough...Did get a few of the lavender in.

But maybe tonight. I'm so ready for some rain.
Joe said…
Here in Lafayette we got 1.15" of rain --- so far! Those seedlings look great and thanks for the photos! :)
Christine said…
I tend to research all the gardening "rules" obsessively and then totally ignore them when convenient. It seems to mostly work... Those photos are just breathtaking, although the scale of the first one made me think that the hummingbird was an eagle or something! So glad you had a chance to get outside!
Country Mouse said…
I got my misty sunrise :-) - Maybe I'll post a photo of it tomorrow. Human nature is so strange isn't it - we plan and plan and then - some of us - just go ahead and do whatever anyway. I can only hope that overall my deeper sense of what's right becomes more informed as time goes by! Thanks for dropping by!
Anonymous said…
For having rain and fog, you got some wonderful photos. I plant in the rain sometimes. The plants actually prefer it when I am transplanting.
I was assembling a post on the rain we got down here. How I wish I had the stunning landscape shots to intersperse between the sad photos that I've just now taken now at night. That's one sadness of the this exciting season: I often come home to a dark garden! But rain is good!
camissonia said…
Love it! I live for gardening in the rain, just because we don't get enough of it down here in SoCal. What a gorgeous photo of the misty mountainscape view - reminds me of a serene Chinese brush painting.
Kate said…
I've gardened in the rain before. I know exactly what you mean, you get started and then it starts to sprinkle and you think oh, I gotta get this done. Even after it starts to pour... :))