Happy Winter Solstice! Apparently, the place to be this shortest day of the year is Stonehenge.
Here’s the personal, always emotional weather report: After a drizzly Saturday, a soft rain started falling again yesterday afternoon.
All of which is the kind of gentle preparation the parched soil needs to absorb the predicted torrents of El Nino, due to arrive sometime in the new year.
For a few months, the garden will be off life support. At last the hose can be coiled up and stowed, one less tripping hazard. Not to be a jinx or anything, but hello, rainy season.
The U.S. Geological Survey noted as of October 5, 2015, that “California’s 2015 and 2014 Water Years, which ended September 30, 2015, were the warmest years on record.
2014 was the third driest year on record. On April 1, 2015, the California Department of Water Resources measured the statewide water content of Sierra snowpack at five percent of average for April 1st.” (California’s “water year” runs from Oct. 1 to May 31.)
Looking through old December blog posts, there’s lots of photos celebrating the seasonal return of moisture.
Cussonia gamtoosensis, December 2013
Leucadendron salignum ‘Blush,’ December 2010
Mangave ‘Bloodspot,’ December 2010
Echeverias, December 2010
Tibouchina heteromalla, December 2010
Euphorbia characias, December 2010
Canna ‘Bengal Tiger,’ December 2010
Canna ‘Intrigue,’ December 2010
Sedum nussbaumerianum, December 2010
Agave attenuata, December 2010
Musa ‘Siam Ruby,’ December 2010
Did raindrops on plants always look so incredibly beautiful, or has my vision been effected by our long dry spell? Despite the relatively trivial amount of rain, (1.44 inches since October 1st according to my personal rain meter), ALL 3 of my rain barrels are now full. 475 gallons of rainwater! It feels like Christmas come early!
Rain looks good in your garden, I think you should have more of it. Lord knows mine. Has seen enough!
Oh, so many lovely closeups of moist plants. I hope El Nino fulfills its promise when January comes.
So we hope. I distributed rainwater this afternoon to the dryish spots out front. I felt like Santa’s helper.
Such lovely, lovely photos.
Thank you Denise for such lovely posts all year long, I have enjoyed and taken inspiration from each and every one. I empathize with your water dilemmas, as where I live (Perth, Western Australia), we experience very low rainfall and very hot dry summers and have water restrictions in place. Love taking inspiration from the types of plants you use and working them into my own garden! Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
@Kris, that’s fantastic that your rain barrels are full. We still have to install our “water hogs,” and there are a lot of pre-projects to do before that can happen. I think we’ll get 500 or 600 gallons capacity from them. What biting cold wind we had on Christmas Eve! I bet you got some of that at your house.
@Loree, I know how hard it is for you to say that rain looks good anywhere. Mercy, you’ve been hammered by storms this year! I was just out in my garden this morning, wondering how your agave mounds are doing with all that water. Thank goodness you built all that drainage into the soil.
@Alison, yes, please! I loved seeing your snowy photos on FB.
@Hoov, please take care not to overdo it! I rely on your wonderful photos so much, so rest that eye!
@Barbara, I’m determined to visit your beautiful continent some day, where so many plants already feel almost like natives to me because I’ve grown them so long. Thank you so much for such kind words. I take inspiration from so many and often don’t leave a comment. You’ve inspired me to change that in the coming year! Happy holidays!
Really lovely photos. No winter at your place, too? None here in Berlin!
Dang, I sure wish I could grow that Leucadendron here. So perty! Fingers crossed that the predicted rain will gently and consistently drench the landscape.