Sunday, November 2, 2014

After the rain

As I’m writing this on Sunday morning, the weather is as perfect as can be in the fall: blue sky, a slight breeze, and a crisp 57°F with an expected high of 69°F. On Friday, things were very different: a dark brooding sky, menacing clouds, and—rain! Yes, we finally had real rain. Never mind the fact that it didn’t last long and ultimately only amounted to 0.44” here in Davis. It was still very welcome.

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Since Friday was Halloween, I felt a bit conflicted weather-wise: I wanted the rain to continue, but I also wanted the trick-or-treaters to be able to enjoy themselves without getting soaked. Fortunately for them the rain stopped in time for things to dry off a little, and the little ghouls and goblins were able to haunt our streets in relative comfort.

One of the things I love most after a rain storm is to take a walk through the garden. The plants look so clean, and the rain drops add a layer of beauty that usually doesn’t exist. Take a look at the photos below to see what I mean.

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Agave desmettiana ‘Joe Hoak’

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Agave desmettiana ‘Joe Hoak’

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Agave sobria × Manfreda variegata

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‘Desert Museum’ palo verde (Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum’)

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Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri)

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Bearss lime, turning yellow. It’s the same lime you find in the supermarket, but if it stays on the tree it will eventually yellow like a lemon. The taste is still the same.

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Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’

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Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’. Through a trick of light, some of the rain drops appeared to be a deep purple.

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Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’

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Aeonium ‘Cyclops’ (Aeonium undulatum× Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop')

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Echeveria secunda

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Unknown Echeveria cultivar

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Cardon (Pachycereus pringlei). Notice how the spines at the bottom are dark because they’re still wet. The spines on top have dried already.

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Jalapeño pepper, still blooming

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Water pooling in a coral aloe leaf (Aloe striata). The plant behind it is Yucca filamentosa ‘Bright Edge’.

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Beschorneria yuccoides ‘Flamingo Glow’

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Beschorneria yuccoides ‘Flamingo Glow’

But rain also has another side effect: It causes plants to flop over, either on themselves…

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Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’

… or on the sidewalk. That’s one aspect I don’t like, but it’s a reminder that these two plants need to be dealt with sooner of later anyway. Meaning: taken out and replaced with something sturdier.

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Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha ‘Variegata’, not that the ‘Variegata’ part is very visible)

12 comments:

  1. I completely understand your joyful photos, if I substitute sunlight on the leaves instead of raindrops. I'm so happy for you and your thirsty plants!

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    1. People and plants were happy. The air smelled so clean afterwards!

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  2. nothing like a post-rain garden inspection! That mangave cross is a beauty

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    1. I got that mangave cross from Greg Starr. It doesn't even have any official name. I hope it's hardy enough. Agave sobria is a species from Baja California that doesn't tolerate much frost.

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  3. Nothing like rain to make the garden look so fresh! And refresh the plants :) some plants flopping are just minor nuisance in the scheme of things, everything else looks fab for it.

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    1. It's amazing how rain--something so common and even annoying in many parts of the world--attains an almost religious status when you've been without it for so long.

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  4. Wasn't the rain lovely? I so hope we get some more.

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    1. It was wonderful. No more rain in the forecast, but it's early in the season. I haven't given up hope for a "normal" winter yet.

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  5. Hooray for your rain. I'd be happy to send you some of ours as this time of year it's as plentiful here as sunshine is there!

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    1. Wouldn't it be nice if we could build a two-way pipeline to the PNW. We send you sunshine, you send us rain.

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  6. I love the purple on that sage plant. The rain was lovely want it. Wish my back was better so I could go out and take photos. Still hard to bend over. But it's getting better.

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    1. The purple was on an Aeonium 'Zwarkop'. Auto-correct overcorrected again, didn't it, LOL!

      I hope your back will be better soon.

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