Torrential Rainfall, Backyard Flood, Watery Paths

  • Post published:08/09/2018
  • Post comments:5 Comments
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.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I have a very wet backyard as well, and instead of fighting the water, I try to plant water-loving plants as well. Some that have been happy in my garden that you didn’t include in today’s list:grye dogwood (Cornus racemosa),swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum), cardinal flower(Lobelia cardinalis), swamp marigold (Caltha palustris), inkberry (Ilex glabra), forget-me-not (Myosotis), blue-flag iris (Iris versicolor), astilbes (don’t’ know which ones I have), and a hardy hibiscus that I bought at the Greenfield Farmers Co-op Exchange. This year I bought some blue false indigo (Baptisia australis), so far it’s doing well, I cross my fingers for flowers next spring!

  2. Pat

    Marie-Francoise – I am glad you were able to add more water loving plants to my list. I have never heard of swamp marigold. Always so much to learn. Thank you for adding these plants.

  3. Oh, swamp marigold is wonderful, it’s a native. I bought one plant from Nasami several years ago, and now the marigolds run alongside a little stream I made (used to be a drainage ditch). They bloom very early in the spring and make a welcome splash of yellow in the backyard! They multiply but I would not consider them invasive.

  4. Lisa at Greenbow

    Our paths collect water like this after a deluge but it drains off fast. I have seen on the weather reports that your area was getting more than it’s share of rain. It is good that you planned for this. Your garden looks like it is thriving on all this rain.

  5. Pat

    Lisa – The garden is mostly thriving on all the rain. Unfortunately, my drainage is not so fast, and we have had so much rain over the last month that the heucherellas and bleeding hearts are just about to give up the ghost. More days of rain predicted. Alas

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