How to Garden On a Rainy Day

Day 191

Today is overcast with intermittent rain. I love spring so much and love being outside and enjoying all the gifts of nature and working on our predominately natural landscape. The forecast for the weekend looks to be much of the same.

Last weekend we went up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Southern Highland Craft Guild to see art demonstrations by metal and glass artists. It was an interesting day. As we were preparing to leave, I went into the gift shop to browse for t-shirts. What caught my eye, however, was a book: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains &Piedmont: a Naturalist‘s Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia by Timothy P. Spira. I thumbed through it and knew I needed to add it to my collection.

I have never met the author, but he is married to a relatively new friend of mine, Lisa, who authors the blog Natural Gardening. I have learned so much about the plants and trees native to this area through them. I am really enjoying trying to put my new knowledge to use.

Yesterday, I snapped some photos of new blooms which happens almost daily during this time of the year.

I also see non-native plants like this wisteria along the road where we walk each morning. Look at the size of the vines! The wisteria vines are completely taking over this native dogwood. You only need look around at the kudzu in this area to understand what non-native species can do to an environment.

So back to my original question. How do I garden on a rainy day? Well, I am making use of a wonderful book my sister-in-law gave us, The Naturalist’s Notebook, by Nathaniel T. Wheelwright & Bernd Heinrich, to document what is blooming and when. It is nice to know from year to year how things change.

(I am thinking about purchasing one of the new Polaroid instant cameras compatible with Zink instant peel and stick film so I can put photos directly into the book.)

Of course, as I am preparing to publish this blog, the sun is breaking through the clouds. I might get a little outdoor time today after all.

8 thoughts on “How to Garden On a Rainy Day”

  1. Oh, what fun to be learning about the native plants in your area — your area is a particularly magical one and exceptionally diverse! Glad you’re enjoying Tim’s book. I was visiting a couple’s landscape this morning down near DuPont State Park and they turned out to live in a lovely acidic cove forest, but had recently been on a wildflower walk with Conserving Carolina to Melrose Falls (a rich cove forest like Pearson’s Falls). They already knew Tim’s book, as it had been suggested to them, but were glad to get a copy (I had brought one with me to show them, in case they didn’t know it, having moved here from the SC coast.)

    Isn’t spring just popping out everywhere now? In our landscape, it’s a daily discovery as the woodland wildflowers are emerging!

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    1. Lisa, I am still trying to determine our ‘community’. No easy task for a lay person. I do love the book so much.

      I saw the hike toMelrose Falls, but I think we had a conflict on the date of the walk. Spring is truly gorgeous. I have noticed most of the flowers have dropped from the redbud trees and several azaleas. Of course the rain and wind help that along. It changes every day.

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  2. Go outside! Ummm… currently at my place in Vermont, Spring just means the snow piles are a little smaller, the roads are simply mud, and my sump pump keeps me company every 43 minutes or so! Kateri was a flower farmer as a profession and a Gardner through and through. She always talked about beautiful soil… and how it made her want to eat it!… she didn’t… as far as I know. I never had that thought, but I’m excited to see how the flower beds come in this year and can’t wait for the first crocus!

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    1. Darren, I know from living in Alaska and Maine for years, how prized that first breath of spring is. I truly hope your flower beds bloom beautifully. What a great profession Kateri had. That sounds like a lot of work but a dream job! I was once guilty of licking sandy soil off my hands as a child. I think I understand what she means.

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  3. I live in Yucaipa, California, and we have a lot of things that grow naturally here. We are not exactly the foothills, but just at the edge of them. Loved this writing. I love the spring too, and my other favorite time is the autumn.

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    1. California was blessed with a superbloom this year! That must have been amazing to see. Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

      I, too, love autumn equally as much as I love spring. They each touch my soul in different ways.

      Have a great weekend.

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