Miracle rain continuing, with unforeseen consequences

The unusual, unexpected and unabashedly wonderful series of rain storms that started earlier in the week continued throughout the weekend. This post expands on my previous one with more photos of besotted plants luxuriating in the serendipitous gift from above. But it wasn't all love, peace and happiness; there was high drama as well, as you will see.

No need to rush, though. Let's enjoy the quiet beauty of branches heavy with rain drops while it lasts:

Grevillea 'Flora Mason' in backyard
I half-expected to hear a collective sigh of relief from our plants—one last spell of watery extravagance before summer arrives, and with it months of dryness and heat.

×Mangave 'Inca Warrior'

Unlabeled Neoregelia

Begonia 'Jurassic Green Streak'

Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) in the backyard

Japanese maple with Cordyline australis and Agave chiapensis in background

Angelwing begonia, no clue which selection


Metal sculpture by Brian Comiso/Steelhead Metalworks, bought at Hortlandia

Yucca 'Margaritaville', blooming for the first time

Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'

Canna musifolia

Aeonium arboreum

Palo blanco (Mariosousa willardiana)

Leucophyta brownii (left), Eriogonum nudum 'Ella Nelson's Yellow'

Yucca rostrata and Parkinsonia 'Desert Museum'

The 'Desert Museum' palo verde between our house and our neighbor's has already started its annual flower show

The bees love the flowers, especially the carpenter bees

Jade plant (Crassula ovata) and Agave 'Mad Cow'

Bromelia pinguin outside the front yard fence, just planted

Cute but alien-looking Bromelia pinguin baby

Fouquieria purpusii

×Hansara 'Jumping Jacks', the first trigeneric hybrid between Agave, Manfreda, and Polianthes created by Hans Hansen at Walters Gardens

Aloe vaombe

Aloe excelsa with flower from Grevillea plurijuga ssp. superba

Veltheimia capensis with seed pods

Russelia equisetiformis

Calliandra californica

Calliandra californica

Agave parrasana and Aloe broomii

Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba'

Hesperoyucca parviflora flowers 

The set of photos below shows the eastern half of the mounded bed along the streetside fence. Behind the fence is our backyard. This area is dominated by a 'Sonoran Emerald' palo verde (Parkinsonia 'Sonoran Emerald').

Branches hanging low because of all the rain

Aloe 'Erik the Red'

Looking towards the western end of the bed

The 'Sonoran Emerald' palo verde is not a profuse bloomer like 'Desert Museum' but there are more flowers this year than ever before

All was quiet in the neighborhood until, well, the proverbial last drop that maketh the cup run over. Or, in our case, until one drop of rain added the extra milligram of weight it took to tip the balance:


That was my 7:00 am surprise on Sunday morning.

Check back in a few days to read the rest of the story.

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  1. Yikes. I hope you replace it with another of the same type. It's certainly a fast grower for you!

    1. We opted for a more slow-growing and much smaller mallee-type eucalyptus. Less danger of a repeat.

  2. OMG! I'm hoping part 2 contains a miracle rescue.

    1. No miracle rescue, unfortunately. Just a good old-fashioned makeover. See here.

  3. I have nothing as dramatic as the upending of your beautiful Palo Verde, but the flopping is vast--never the less what a gift to have so much rain this late in May. And more overnight as well. Unless we get into the 80s for a few day I don't think I will have to water for two full weeks.

    1. The flopping is heartbreaking. Our neighbors have several Pennisetum 'Karley Rose'. They were stunning before the rain. Now they look like a giant stomped on them.

  4. I have cut mine at the school down to the ground twice and it has regrown rapidly. I think you have a chance of the same thing happening if you cut it back and leave any portion of the stump in. They grow so fast you won't know anything happened it a couple of years, if you're lucky.

    1. No luck here. The root ball was ripped right out of the ground :-( Plus, these are grafted hybrids so what would come back is the root stock.

  5. If I didn’t know what was coming that would have been quite the shock, as imagine it still is for you.

    So many beautiful, happy plants. That Bromelia pinguin is quite the looker! Where did you find it?

    1. It was a shock, but surprisingly it wore off fast. I was glad to be able to plant a bunch of goodies from my "nursery."

      The Bromelia pinguin came from Sal's Cactus Mart outside of Fillmore where we stopped on the way home from the Santa Barbara Bromeliad Summit. I'd mistaken it for a Hechtia.


  6. Your street side planting has filled in beautifully. I am also hoping there is a happy ending to the Palo Verde as it adds great textural contrast to the whole planting scheme. What are your thoughts so far on the x Hansera?

    1. No happy ending for the palo verde, but I like the replanted area. See here.

      The ×Hansara is doing well in its sunny spot. I can't say yet how distinctive it will be because it's still so small. But I have high hopes!

  7. Hope you were able to right the tree. We have had good success with pushing trees back up and staking until they root back in. Everything else looks beautiful. Looks a bit more like Houston than usual. I love our rain but it does have consequences now and again.

    1. Unfortunately, the root ball was ripped right out of the ground. There was nothing left to salvage. But at least I got the plant my Eucalptus macrocarpa. Here's the rest of the story.

  8. You have packed an amazing variety of plants into your garden! One ranneth over. It was such a miracle rain in that we had rain down south, too! Happy, happy plants.


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