On the Evening of October 3, 2010

A single brugmansia bloom dangled while Evie groomed. The rest of the unopened buds were jettisoned in response to high temperatures.


That same evening, the ‘Siam Ruby’ banana unfurled an enormous solar panel, daring the sun to do its worst.


The banana lost its dare. On the afternoon of October 4, 2010, it began to lightly rain, the first in, oh, six months or so. After a fitful start, on October 6 a proper rainstorm strode into town, rolled up its sleeves, and got down to business.

A cold chronology of dates can’t convey the sweet relief that first rainfall provides. When those long-awaited drops begin to penetrate the soil, some project always presents itself that can’t be delayed and must be accomplished now. Really just an excuse to experience water again falling from the sky and not out the end of a hose, to feel the warm drops on the skin, the hair, squishing into the shoes.

Yesterday, as the skies filled with clouds swollen with impending rain, it seemed a good time to consolidate a bunch of summer-accumulated pots into one gigantic pot vacated by a large sotol.
So in went Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead,’ an enormous pelargonium, two begonias, a golden-leaved jasmine, and the eggplant-colored pseuderanthemum ‘Black Varnish,’ almost 3-feet tall.
As the rain morphs from mist to big splashy drops, I shake my head like a dog to get the wet hair out of my face and go grab more compost. Soil falls onto the wet bricks and creates a muddy slurry, and even as I work I marvel at the glorious mess the rain and I have created in under 10 minutes. A couple lily bulbs are thrown into the pot for good measure. The rain is here, so once again everything is possible.

After the empty pots and shovels are cleared away, the clouds really let loose, and I head for the shower. The rain-soaked pot of xanthosoma which I’ve moved umpteen times all summer now won’t budge an inch and will probably remain in this spot before retiring for its winter snooze, sometime in November. The banana will be pleased with the forecasted temps into the 90s this weekend, but I’m looking forward to my next play date with the rain.


Mediterranean Zone 10, averaging 15 inches of rainfall per year.

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7 Responses to On the Evening of October 3, 2010

  1. M. says:

    this is the manatee

  2. Les says:

    I could not imagine waiting so long for rain. I have had Siam Ruby now for two years, but of course here it has to be brought in for the winter. I got it after seeing a spectacular 6′ specimen, but mine has not come anywhere near that tall, appearing more like a mini-banana. After my initial lust, I have since learned that this variety does not put on the rampant growth that other bananas do.

  3. Grace says:

    I’m not sure if this comment will make it thanks to some weird Java script snafu. But I’ll try. Thank you for your comment on my blog about my memoir. I would love to have your honest opinions good or bad.

  4. Denise says:

    Les, it’s true, the amount of rain defines gardens out here. This musa is slow growing for me too, one of the reasons I chose it. We’re in the “banana belt” along the coast, and bananas get tree size here.

    Grace, yes, you arrived. Just trying to outfox the spammers. What a great project your memoirs will be for you this winter.

  5. Grace says:

    Okay it worked. Now I can write my lost reply.

    I’m right there with you, trudging to through the garden, drops tricking down my back and off my nose, tempted to remove a soil-laden glove to scratch while breathing in moist-filled air. [Does moist-filled work?] Here’s to many more rainy days. Beautiful photos!

  6. David says:

    15 inches a year! Whoa! I knew you were in a drier climate, but didn’t realize how extreme. I’ll never complain about our dry spells again. I’m on day 13 without rain, but it seems like forever. The dust kicks up whenever I rake the garden. Happy Rains to You.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston (48 inches of rain yearly)

  7. Evie chose a delightful place to sit and do her grooming. I am particularly fond of looking beyond one room into the next. I just want to walk through that door too.

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