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Torrential Rainfall, Backyard Flood, Watery Paths

torrential rainfall

Rain gauge measures torrential rainfall

The torrential rainfall began late in the day. It was not constant, but when we woke up this morning the rain gauge very clearly said another 2 and 3/4 inches of rain had fallen. There has never been a summer quite like this with temperatures in the 90s and many heavy rainfalls.

Results of torrential rainfalls

Results of torrential rainfalls

This photo shows the ankle deep water in the widest path to the back of the garden and the shed. The very large shrub in  the middle of the photo is a red twig dogwood and it has thrived in the rains. The Lindera benzoil, planted to attract Swallowtail butterflies, does not appear to have minded the rain too much. Neither has the raspberry patch just beyond the dogwood, although I will say the crop has been limited, partly because the berries rot so quickly with all the wet.

Central watery path

Central watery path

I walked through this watery path in my bare feet. Blue jeans rolled up. Last weekend we took friends on a tour of the garden. Everyone had to wear boots, or go barefoot. We were walking in last week’s torrential rainfall that day.

Another watery path

Another watery path

Can you tell I am trying to show you the full force of the effect of rain in my garden?

Hose guards

Hose guards are partially submerged

My homemade wine bottle hose guards are well submerged.  Because we knew the back yard was wet when we bought the house, we did create raised beds with yards and yards of compost, compo-soil and compo-mulch from our wonderful nearby Martin’s Compost Farm. Now when we have torrential rains the planting beds look like islands in a lake.

Southwest corner of the garden

The southwest  corner of the garden is probably the wettest part of the garden. The winding gravel path was intended to help handle rainfall. It helps, but it does not eliminate standing water as you can see. The water on the left side of the photo continues past the swamp pinks, past the raspberry patch and the redtwig dogwood. Which you have already seen.

Path and shed

Garden shed and reflections

We love our little garden shed. Aren’t the reflections in the ‘lake’ pretty?

We knew we were getting a wet garden when we bought our house. We planned accordingly. Here is a list of water tolerant – and sometimes water-loving – plants we chose.

Water-loving: Red twig dogwood, yellow twig dogwood, osier dogwood, pagoda dogwood, summersweetwinterberry,  dappled willow, elderberry,  buttonbush, Japanese primroses, river birch

Water tolerant: Daylilies, turtlehead, Siberian irises, Culver’s root,  bog rosemary, cardinal flowermeadow rueobedient plant, Joe Pye weed.

It was fortunate we knew this was a wet site, with an underground river and heavy clay soil. Happily there are lots of beautiful water loving plants to fill a wet garden.

J is for Joe Pye Weed, Eutrochium purpureum

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed

J is for Joe Pye Weed, Eutrochium purpureum. Joe Pye Weed is one of the plants I have chosen for my new garden because it  tolerates wet clay sites so well that it can be used as part of a rain garden. But that is not the only reason.

Many people considered Joe Pye Weed as nothing more than a road side weed. However, nowadays we realize that this native plant with its showy tall flower inflorescences in shades of purple is an important nectar plant for butterflies. This spring I planted a Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) because it is an important plant for the spicebush swallowtail.  Spicebush swallowtails will also enjoy Joe Pye Weed, as will other swallowtail butterfly varieties

Joe Pye will form a large clump and it cannot do this fast enough to suit me.

I am participating in the A to Z Challenge. We are on to the  second full week of posting every single day. Visit some of the other Challenge blogs.