Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, April 11, 2008

April Deluge

Cloudy days bring out the best in a Redbud (Cercis Canadensis)

We are saturated here in Music City....It is so wet water squishes into your shoes and onto your pants legs. We are all complaining and eager to get back to our gardens. The rain is a big bother; boy are we going to wish we had saved this water in July and August when the temperatures are in the 80s and 90s and we won't see rain for weeks at a time. Wouldn't a cistern be wonderful!

Today, both, the patio and the garden that is under construction were underwater!

There was a sunny break in the stormy weather, so I grabbed the camera and raincoat and headed out for walk. These creeks and wet weather streams are doing their job; the water is higher and moving faster than usual. Unless you're from Tennessee you won't know that there is a movement afoot in the state legislature (TCV)to allow developers to cover over some wet weather streams. They argue that the streams are conveyances (not streams that support fish) and moving them is an expensive hassle. I am trying to imagine all this runoff happily traveling its natural course and then what a big parking lot or road is going to stop the water? Water will find its way through someone's backyard, a parking lot or flood a roadway on its way to the river downstream. The small streams that feed plants and life whenever they are wet will suffer. Conservationists are equally concerned that our drinking water will be effected. Don't you just love progmess!

Back home to survey the garden damage:

We don't have gentle rains here, it's a deluge of water that pummels the plants,

Angelina (Tulip) yesterday afternoon

Iris yesterday afternoon

Angelina this morning after the rain

pummeled Iris this morning

These big pom poms were lovely yesterday and smelled sweet (Fothergilla gardenii). Do you think they will fluff up after they dry out?

Oh, they did dry out some, and on its way too looking better. We might need a blow dryer.

This nest looks abandoned,

I hope the family that was living here is someplace dry and safe.

April showers bring flowers and busy bees and greener grass! Looks like the mower will be out this weekend. My apologies for the noise.



  1. Lovely pictures and words. I did not know about the movement afoot in the legislature. But I must say I have seen movement forward in TN to protect the environment and to control stormwater runoff more in the last few years. I really hope they don't backslide but the issue of water and the environment is a hot button issue, due to the developers and contracters having the most money, and of course, the most influence.

    Get those aliens! I am out of the garden today. I am also on my way to get some blackbery lillies? A freecycler is giving them away. I am trading her some daffys. Freecycle is picking up for gardening. You should check it out if you haven't already. I got a pick up truck full of stella de oros last summer! I also am getting a bunch of pots, ceramic and otherwise. Are you a member yet?

    I envy those irises. My big ones haven't bloomed yet, just the dwarf ones; which I must say are exquisite. A new (four years but the first year I see some progress as they were slow to establish) and different plant for me. ttyl

  2. I forgot to say, I love your new word "progmess"! It is apt. This is the first year I have grown fothergilla and the scent IS heavenly! It is easy too!

  3. tina, well, it's one step forward and one back in Tennessee...the Tennessee "Two Step" Waltz...if you are up to it follow the link I have in the article to see how much lobbying is going on at the legislature pro development. Makes me crazy.

    Storm water management has to be about collecting and using that water...and so far it seems to be about moving it!

    The iris are the original Early german Iris that everyone's grandmother had in her garden, I love the fragrance, it transports me to a lovely memory garden.


  4. I'm jealous - we had 3 weeks of cloudy, grey skies and nary a drop of rain.

  5. Just found your site
    I smile
    I have returned to Nashville after living in my wonderful country home for 30 years.
    Oh, I miss my gardens.
    I built a smaller retirement home with smaller yard.
    Brought pieces of many of my flowers last year when the earth was dry and home still under construction.
    Suprise, flowers are coming up everywhere.
    So, I plan to create my garden in the middle of city in a minature.
    I think we do not live too far from one another.
    Also have just started a blog.
    A new challenge.
    Look forward to reading about your gardening adventures.

  6. Gail you can surely tell I am a new computer and blogger person
    I wanted to leave my name and I entered incorrectly
    Will try again.

  7. two new bloggers, what a wonderful surprise...

    anonymous, Welcome back to Nashville and to clay and limestone. How exciting it must be to see your plants in their new home...lots of good memories,


    Welcome and glad you stopped by. and I will stop by to see your blog.


  8. herself,

    Hello, well I remember last year you all had too much rain and we were dry as a bone.


  9. The poor things! At least you got rain instead of the crud we've been getting. I wish we could have saved some of this moisture for the summer too. Hopefully it won't be so dry this summer though!

  10. cinj,

    Having lived in the mid south for 30 years I have completely forgotten how long winter can be, here I am freaking out that it might frost tonight or tomorrow night and there are folks with snow on the ground.

    Warmest thoughts your way!


  11. Hi Gail, How was your walk? Busy weeding?

  12. I'm sorry, but I had to laugh at the droopy wet Fothergilla flowers. They just look so pathetic. I hope reason prevails over money in Tennessee. Progmess indeed!

  13. Tina,

    it was fun...I walked and talked with a friend as she drove here from Knoxville...weedede indeed and you?


  14. MMd,

    It hasn't prevailed yet! The south is perplexing to my midwest mind, even after 30 years....in the meantime I must writemy letters and make my phone calls.


  15. Gail .. I am jealous .. that redbud is glorious .. and to have so many flowers in bloom .. amazing ! .. this thing with the water .. how crazy is that? .. such beautiful little streams .. I would love to live in an area like you do .. so peaceful and GREEN .. a ready made "almost" Zen garden .. feels that way to me right now in any case, looking at these great pictures ! .. and yes .. I am so in denial of chocolate .. if I would just get it over with and have SOME ! LOL

  16. joy,

    Thank you...this is an older suburb with one or two acre yards, so there is plenty of space, lots of canopy trees and wildness. Plus we have the nicest winters, really, if it wasn't for the politics and horrible health care I would urge you to move here!

    Chocolate is not a luxury, it is a necessity.


  17. nancy, they are handsome trees...I don't really mind the lawn mower or the smell of new mown lawn, but I dislike the weedeaters...they are not a sound that is gentle on the ears....


  18. Gail, I'm laughing at the thought of you out there with a blow dryer for those poor blooms :-) Don't forget to put that big clumsy diffuser thing on the end or you'll blow those flowers across the yard!

    What a pretty stream. Here on Long Island they used to build close to water all the time. Now we all have water in our basements when we get a storm. Not too smart if you ask me.

  19. melanie, yes I shall market a mini blow dryer for plants.

    I get frustrated when I think about the lack of long range thinkers in my municipal government.


  20. 'Progmess' indeed! I hope the horrid beancounters don't hurt the waterways in TN. Grrr!

    I love your photos, Gail. Glad to see your Fothergilla puffed back out for you, sans hairdryer. ;-)

    Nashville is one of my favorite cities. My son still talks about the time we saw the Treehouse exhibit at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. It was so beautiful!


  21. Gail,

    I saw that in the paper about the run-off streams. Let's hope we can leave things as natural as possible. I just posted some pictures of the rains from down here. The flowers in your neck of the woods look ahead of us. Our tulips only started to open up yesterday and the Irises are still in buds. I wonder if it's because of the cold pocket we're in. I think it's a few degrees cooler at our house due to the hill we are on/under.

  22. Dear Gail,
    Your post is very sweet and informative at the same time - that's very good combination :)
    I am bit surprised to to see iris and tulip flowering at the same time. In Poland first we see tulips, THEN irises :)
    I also have fotergilla (major) in my garden, cos I fell in love with the 'bottle brums' (as I call the flowers) - scent is heavenly and bees love it too.

  23. dawn,
    Glad you stopped by...Cheekwood has the sweetest exhibits that appeal to kids..I was surprised the follergilla made it back!

    I am going to stop by today and see your post...I think I am in a much warmer pocket, we are on a hill side, not a big one but it seems to warm up faster.


    The iris is an old fashioned girl..not one of the new 'flop over their heads are too big iris'...I love them for their simplicity and grape scent. Thank you, sweet and informative works for me! Fothergilla is terrific and a native of East Tennessee...I will baby it so it will survive my neutral soil!



"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson