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Rain, Sweet Rain

September 2nd, 2014

A smell of rain came on streaks of coolness through the hot wind.

“Oh, maybe it will get to us, Ma! Maybe it will!” Laura said. Inside themselves they were all saying, “Please, please, please!”

The wind blew cooler. slowly, slowly, the cloud shadow grew larger. Now the cloud spread wide in the sky. Suddenly a shadow rushed across the flat land and up the knoll, and fast after it came the marching rain. It came up the knoll like millions of tiny trampling feet, and rain poured down on the house and on Ma and Mary and Laura and Carrie.

…Just before sunset the rain went away. Down across Plum reek and away across the prairie to the east it went, leaving only a few sparkling drops falling in the sunshine. Then the cloud turned purple and red and curled gold edges against the clear sky. The sun sank and the starts came out. The air was cool and the earth was damp and grateful.

Laura Ingalls Wilder (On the Banks of Plum Creek)

rainy days 2
It’s been dry here, for quite a while. Thankfully the weather has been cooler, but things were starting to get a little too dry in the garden. This summer our rain has come in big amounts, very quickly. We have had 5 inches overnight on several occasions. The result is that a lot runs off and not much soaks in.
I’ve had to water my newly planted shrubs quite often and I frequently find myself lugging watering cans around making sure potted plants are watered and prize plants have the water they need.
Last night we had a glorious soaking rain, it was perfect. Not too hard, not too soft, just right. I was worried with the hot days we’ve been having and a long trip on the horizon. Thankfully this rain will keep things in shape until I return, I can now travel without worry of trying to explain which plants might need a long drink while I am away.

How has the rainfall been in your garden this summer?

8 Comments to “Rain, Sweet Rain”
  1. Marina on September 2, 2014 at 5:19 am

    We have had a cooler and wetter summer, though rain has come in heavy downpours here also.

    I have had to water pots and seedlings only, everything else has managed with what Mother Nature has sent.

    One way I know for sure that we had an ‘English summer’ is that my blue hanging lobelia, which I love cascading over the edge of some big pots I have at the front and back doors is still blooming. That usually packs it in in the first over 90F heat wave.

    I’d be quite happy if this was our new weather pattern…

    Have a nice trip, Susy!

    Reply to Marina's comment

  2. Jennifer Fisk on September 2, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Early on I had to water but after that there has been adequate rain. I did mulch quite a bit with straw which as done a great job of keeping moisture in the soil. The squash have provided their own shade to keep the soil moist enough to be overwhelmingly prolific.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  3. kay on September 2, 2014 at 6:27 am

    It has been a dry summer but yesterday and last nite we got quite a bit of rain.

    Reply to kay's comment

  4. PennyAshevilleNC on September 2, 2014 at 8:06 am

    We get most of our rain in July from what I have noticed. I do have a hose drip water system in the beds this year which allows me to have 1 less thing to remember to do.
    I love the picture with the rain drop splashing- what a cool moment.

    Reply to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

  5. Tom Wolfe on September 2, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Have you considered designing your garden to trap rain water more effectively, such as with berms to give the water more time to sink into the ground close to your plants?

    Reply to Tom Wolfe's comment

    • Susy on September 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

      We do have much of that in place and we make sure to add lots of mulch and organic matter. Our sandy soil dries out very quickly, so hopefully after a few years our efforts will pay off with better water retention.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Nebraska Dave on September 2, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Susy, water was not an issue here this year. Well, at times it was an issue but the issue was too much. May and June were both way above normal for moisture. July settled down for a time then came August. We topped off at six inches above normal when the month was over. I just can’t wait to see what September brings. I have a jungle for a lawn and garden and it’s down to the point if it isn’t raining, put on the mud boots and start weeding and mowing even if it’s wet. I don’t like to cut grass wet but I’m desperate. It will take two passes to get it under control again. The first pass with the mower will be set as high as it can go and the second will be set at normal height. The end product will be lots of good chemical free nitrogen rich mulch for the garden. Yea!!

    Have a great sweet rain day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  7. Sarah on September 2, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    The first half of the summer was great, much wetter and cooler than usual (a very good thing here in TX). But we haven’t had any rain here in over a month and even my yard is dead (which is not grass, just native ground cover like horse clover and wild oxalis).

    I have several 80-100 foot tall pecan trees (very brittle) with major limbs hanging over my house so I get nervous when it’s this dry.

    Reply to Sarah's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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