Saturday, August 23, 2008

Random Saturday Morning Garden Musings

The rain predicted here the last couple of days has danced around us, not on us. July and August are the months I sometimes have to sprinkle. Mother nature has been kind to us in the summer weather and rain departments most of this season. Although it's not terribly hot so far today, even 83 degrees can feel quite uncomfortable on a dog day with high humidity. It's beautiful and mostly shady in the garden this morning, and everything received a refreshing drink of water.

The elephant ears in the background have been windblown the last couple of days. It's well hydrated, but sometimes folds itself down to protect its huge leaves from the wind's assault. Sometimes it takes a couple of days to recover. So far it always has.

The containers in front were watered with the proceeds from the basement dehumidifier. They seem to like the water, and it's a small way among others I conserve water around here. I take short showers and turn down the water pressure quite a bit on our very generous shower head, doing my best to convince myself it helps compensate for those times when I have to resort to the sprinkler. I've planted drought-tolerant plants together, and those few with higher watering needs close to the patio. I've moved most of the containers into the garden so the runoff from watering them benefits the garden instead of evaporating on the patio. I put the watering can under the fuchsia - the only hanging basket that isn't hanging over the garden, so I can collect and reuse the runoff.

I do my best in every way possible to reduce water usage and ease those pangs I feel when I turn on the sprinkler. Rain barrels and soaker hoses are up there on a list of additional measures.

There's a spot in one corner of our patio where, for a moment most sunny mornings, spider webs are perfectly illuminated by the sun. This was one such morning. It's always a brief moment, and I often watch as the illumination reaches its crescendo then fades away, and the webs disappear into the air.


  1. Wow! Love that spider web that for some reason looks very irridescent to me. I really enjoy your garden and hearing about it. And I am hoping the 2 for 1 sale comes up soon! I couldn't work in a nursery-way too tempting to buy and do cuttings;)

  2. What a beautiful post this is! Early morning in the garden, it's so peaseful. The sunshine on the spider web is gorgeous! I love when there is dew on the web too.

    I'm sorry I've had so little time to visit you during the summer, I have been working full time. The hours left I've been in the garden (or in bed).

    I wish you a very nice Sunday :)

  3. Anonymous1:21 AM

    You have a beautiful blog! so happy you visited mine today. Now I know about you!

    Chicago was truly amazing. I can't imagine it under snow though because everything was so lush.

  4. It's lovely to see an overview of the garden - with everything 'pulling together'.

    The spider's web picture is very special - like the colours on the 'wrong' side of a CD!


  5. Thank you Tina. The light was hitting it just right to give it that irridescent glow. That usually only happens for a minute or so in the morning. As the summer wanes, it happens later and later each day.

    Thank you Marie! I know what you mean about being busy. It must be quite an adjustment for you to have a full-time job now. It's hard to fit in everything you want to do.

    Thank you Shirley! I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to Chicago. I think it's a great city, and am still surprised to read comments from people who are impressed with how pretty it is. I tend to take it for granted since I was born in Chicago and have lived there and in the suburbs all my life.

    Thank you Lucy! This web's probably been here for a few days judging by how tattered it is. I love when the light hits them like that (especially when I'm almost about to walk through one!)

  6. Garden girl,

    Your garden looks amazing. I love the first pic.

  7. Anonymous11:59 PM

    Goodness, you have an amazing garden!!! I just love all the heights and textures. I had to water a lot this season--second year in a row. But your garden is just grand!!

  8. Thank you Mr. Brown Thumb! And thanks for visting the garden! We're practically neighbors it seems.

    Yours was the very first garden blog I found. I lurked around there quite a bit, enjoying every minute, over last winter when I first discovered people were actually blogging about gardens.

    I'm glad to see your hiatus from the blog was only temporary, and I'll be back often. Thank you for introducing me to garden blogs, and putting the seed of an idea for a blog of my own into my head! I've been enriched by a fantastic group of artistic, knowledgeable, resourceful folks who share this awesome passion.

    Thank you Anna! I like having the containers in the garden filling in quiet spots and adding a little more much-needed moisture around some plants that can sure use it. They make things look much more interesting. I've always had a couple of containers out in the garden, and Meems inspired me to move some of the others usually on the patio out there. I'm pleased with the added color in what is still a very young garden with lots of empty space and small plants in need of a more intentional design.

    I also like that I can see the garden better with less containers blocking the view.

    It's been more nursery than garden here as I gradually figure out what's going to survive the shallow, extensive root systems of three mature maples in and next to the garden.

  9. You've captured a beautiful shot of the spider's web. the rainbow reflecting from it is delightful. They are hard workers those orb weavers! I like your garden...

    The water use issue is a huge one for all of us, nothing about it is easy to figure out. Are rain barrels worth it, does on need to go another step, do we stop using bottled water? The list of my questions seems endless. We do the best we can do and work to ensure that our local gov'ts do that, too! I have hardly begun to resolve my guilt pangs!

  10. Your garden is lovely, Linda! So many colorful blooms. I hadn't thought about using the dehumidifier water outside, but that's a great idea. The spider web is amazing; as Tina said, it looks iridescent.

    Happy belated birthday to your "baby girl"!

  11. We really were spoiled with good weather this summer. It's just in the past couple of weeks that I've had to start watering again, although the daily ritual of hauling the dehumidifier water up the basement stairs continues regardless of how much rain we get. Your garden looks beautiful & the spider web is enchanting.

  12. Love the Rainbow Web!
    I never see them but walk through them all the time while in the woods! arggg, that is icky to the face and a freaky thing....

  13. Thanks Gail. I'm glad I was out there at the right time with the camera. Sometimes when I see a web glowing over in that area, by the time I get the camera it's already disappeared!

    The water issue sure does provide lots of food for thought. I'm glad the garden is getting more established, and that we had plenty of rain most of the summer. Both those things have helped a lot this year. With all the tree roots in this garden though, little would survive without supplemental water during the hottest, driest months.

    Thank you Rose. I'd never thought of using the water from the dehumidifier until last year when I overwintered plants in the basement for the first time. It doesn't run much in the winter, but whenever it had water in it, I used it. Most of the summer it's provided most of the water for the containers I have in the front of the house. Over time it does add up.

    MMD, thank you! Yes, this was a great summer - plenty of rain most of the summer, and thankfully very few very hot days.

    The plants do seem to like that humidifier water. Hauling it's a bit of a pain, but it's worth the effort, knowing it's chlorine, fluoride, and pharmaceutical-free in addition to being a small way to conserve water on a daily basis.

    Thanks Skeeter! It's nice when they're illuminated like that so they can be seen BEFORE walking into them. At this time of year, especially in the morning, I seem to walk through at least one web almost every time I go outside! Yuck!

  14. Beautiful pictures and garden you have! I love the spider web, I saw a pretty big one the other day in my garden, I'm sure due to no rain here.

  15. Thank you Kathi! There sure seems to be an abundance of spiders this time of year, with the webs lasting longer in the past week or so that there's been no rain. At this rate we won't need to hang fake spider webs on the house for Halloween.

  16. ARGH! This is soooo beautiful. One day Linda, when I am a famous author, I will pay you big bucks as a consultant to help me design a garden. BIG BUCKS. lol.

    These pictures are gorgeous. I thought this one was a painting or a picture of a famous garden somewhere. Well ::pause:: I guess it is famous -- it's Garden Girl's!

    Love you Linda. You've been so good to me.


  17. Thank you Hinsley!

    One day when you're a famous author, I'll design a garden for you free. It would be the least I could do for all the reading pleasure you've given me!

    Love you too girl.


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