Rain!

Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Sweet Kate’ and friends

That’s right — I used the R word, as in rain, liquid precipitation, glorious fat drops of falling water.  It has been many, many months — since last year some time — that we received over an inch of rain from one precipitation event on our five acres.  Many areas quite near by got plenty of rain, but not my house, not my increasingly thirsty yard.

Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, my yard got its turn. About 12:45 a.m., a storm slammed into us, bringing ferocious, house-shaking winds, room-illuminating lightning, and a grand total of 1.10 inches of rain. Hallelujah!

Of course, I was a nervous wreck when the pounding winds and lightning rained branches down onto the roof. Fortunately, they were small branches; they only sound like logs when they’re hitting the roof in the dark. And, of course, Wonder Spouse slept through the entire storm.

The number on the rain gauge made my sleep deprivation worthwhile. This was not a drought-breaking event. We would need about one of these events every week for several months to bring us back to optimum wetness. But it’s a tiny soggy step in the right direction — finally.

Now I must redouble my gardening pace. The summer garden must be planted before the weekend is over, so that the plants can settle into pre-moistened vegetable beds. The spring garden must be harvested and fed to encourage continued production. The rain will have made the sugar snap peas swell. The greens will all be larger. I see more tasty salads in our imminent future.

Of course, weed growth will outpace the growth of desired plants, making my chore list that much longer. And the “lawn” that we mowed on Sunday will now shoot skyward sooner than we’d like. But I’ll take more weeds and a taller lawn as long as the blessed rain keeps coming.

All of last night’s liquid goodness will make my lovely Chartreuse Spiderwort, ‘Sweet Kate’ even lovelier than she was when I took the above photograph a few days ago. She’s mingling with some of the other perennials that surround our little water feature that I told you about here.

Sweet Kate was developed in England, and she’a hybrid between two native US species, so I consider her one of us. She thrives on neglect, even multiplying enthusiastically but not excessively. Several of the small speciality nurseries in my area sell this plant. Even when she’s not blooming, she makes her presence felt with those knockout leaves.

As spring morphs into summer, Sweet Kate will continue to show off her vibrant flowers sporadically until frost.  But I’ve no time to admire her many fine qualities when I have all of these plants looming large in the greenhouse, waiting for relocation to their permanent summer homes:

Impatient tomatoes and other summer vegetables awaiting transplantation

I think I’d best get busy…

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  1. #1 by Tony on April 28, 2014 - 8:25 pm

    Thank you so much for giving me the name of these flowers. I bought two containers of them about 8 years ago at Lowe’s when they put all of the spring plants out. They were so striking that I couldn’t pass them up. I wanted more but were kind of pricey at about $8 a container. So I got two for a small side garden. They have grown but to this day, I don’t know what to tell people they are called. Now I can simply tell them “Sweet Kate”

    • #2 by piedmontgardener on April 28, 2014 - 9:07 pm

      Welcome, Tony. I’m glad I was able to help you solve your flower mystery. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Current Bloomers « Piedmont Gardener

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