Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February Foliage Followup and a Water Poll

When I took pics for Bloom Day, I noticed a plate of resurrection fern growing on pecan bark that I left on an outdoor table along with Cousin Annie's Brass Pitcher and a pot of Sedum acre near my bottle tree. See the scar on the trunk of the pecan tree in the background? A huge limb broke there last year. That's where the resurrection fern grew. I took off big chunks of it and placed around the garden. These bits were just leftovers.

I am seeing daffodil foliage that has emerged amd budding; daylilies with crisp, upright fans;
new leaves on Spirea Bumalda and numerous other wonderful signs of approaching spring.
I'm eager to see all yours.

A new poll is on my sidebar. It's always easy to see what was omitted when the poll is up. 
Once someone enters a check mark, they can't be edited.
JP pointed out that there's not an entry for soaker hoses and drip emitters. Neither are hoses with sprinklers on the end included. I have soakers, and drag many hoses in drought years. 2009 was the exception when we had ample rainfall.
Xeriscaping was not included as a choice, either.


The real purpose of the poll is to encourage discussion.
Do you consider water for birds and other native visitors? 
Do you have to carry water to the far reaches of your garden where the hoses don't reach?
Is too much water a problem for your garden?
Where does excess water go? Have you installed or considered a rain garden?
What water issues does your garden have?


  1. Water is a paramount concern in my region ... or rather the lack of it. For around nine months of every year (longer of course if we are in drought) we have very little or no rainfall at all ... and we have been on water restrictions for nearly a decade. We learn to be very good at choosing drought tolerant plants, using mulching to help stop gardens from drying out and we only really water our gardens in the early mornings or late evenings.

    Because we get very little rainfall for most of the year, rain-tanks are not a great option, but many people find they can access bore water on their properties and use this to water their gardens.

  2. I had soaker hoses until age (of the hoses, not me!) and digger dog finished them off. I finally pulled them all up and haven't replaced them.

    We have been very fortunate for the last three years to have adequate and timely rainfall.

    I do have three hydrants scattered at different areas so if I use a hose I leave it in place in the vegetable garden so I don't have to drag it all season.

    My favored way of handling moisture is deep, deep mulch.

    I use the overflow from the birdbath to keep the soil constantly moist for my lobelia which has been a very disappointing plant! But that is another topic.

  3. I store rainwater sometime, but mosquito breeding is a menace, therefore "store today use tomorrow". ~bangchik

  4. our problem here seems to be that we never know what we're going to get. Mulched soaker hoses are terrific for holding moisture when it's hot, but some seasons we are just inundated with rain, so much that I get a big lake going in one 15 x 30' section.
    So, my newest thought is to make a rice paddy in this area. I'm trying to make lemonade!

  5. We've had an amazing wet winter, so perhaps water won't be too much of an issue this summer. Nonetheless, I'm trying 'ollas' to help with water use. They are unglazed crocks that go down into the ground, you fill them with water, and the water seeps out into the surrounding soil. I've read good things about them, but this is my first try with them.

  6. Since I live on a high hill in the warm weather I have a rain barrel with an overflow pipe that goes into an old cistern. The cistern was here on the property when we bought it. I have a separate water tank and pump just for the cistern and rain water that I run a hose to and water the garden in the summer.It is a wonderful conservation method and the plants like this water better than the cold, deep well water.

  7. We have a well. I hand water my vegetable garden, with water collected off the roof of the house. Although, when it doesn't rain I have to use the hose. Except for the 1st couple of years when they are being established, the perennial flowerbeds get none. It is great to be able to read about your daffodils and daylillies budding . My garden is under two feet of snow and more is falling from the sky.

  8. Love that resurrection fern! And is that your reflection in a mirror or is it a see-thru window? Cool picture!

  9. aloha nell,

    as you may know i use my catchment system completely for water usage including bathing, drinking and watering my plants...i've posted a link to my catchment post to those that want to understand how it works here in hawaii...maybe others can think about this approach also.


  10. I adore my rain barrels - they fill up from just one rainstorm. Then I use them to flood the yard, much like Noelle does in AZ. It's sustainable so long as I remember to do it.

  11. Do islands everywhere use catchment systems? I remember how interesting I found the water collection in St. Thomas. Thanks for the link, Noel.

    That's me in the mirror, Floridagirl. The mirror is on the pumphouse.

    I'm fascinated by everybody's methods, and appreciate the inconveniences we have to overcome.

    My soaker hoses are endangered by age and dog, too. We need to get Janie to tell us how to make portable soakers using PVC pipe with holes drilled.

  12. How wonderful to meet you and your garden of sprouting green!
    I smile as I view your garden photos because I have a similar garden shed with a mirror placed in the same spot and I place my garden furniture in the same location as you because we have a Maple tree there for shade!Interesting how connections are made through our love of posting our gardens!
    Excess water runs to the back of our subdivision lot...makes for boggy soil and always a challenge for me to maintain successful planting..ferns seem to be my solution after many attempts.
    Waiting for Springtime aNNa :)

  13. I live on 3 acres. The front half is fairly level and sandy so I use micro irrigation on a timer for irrigation. I live in a rural area with no water restrictions (yet) but I am trying to add more drought tolerant plants. My husband says I have about an acre of planted flowerbeds, so I don't want to water by hand - lol.
    The back half slopes and is heavier soil. It is the lowest area of the 4 nearest lots, so when it rains a lot, it is wet! The river near us flooded last April and the "puddle" never dried up. Now it is even bigger because it keeps raining here about twice a week. Nothing in the back gets any special treatmen - it either lives or it doesn't.

  14. Just wanted to say Hi....I see your name around a lot on gardening blogs...putting you in my bloglist. I can learn a lot from you..

  15. Okay now that's done. I drag garden hoses from post to pillar...working really hard to plant more drought tolerant species though..I also need to use larger containers mixed with moisture control soil so they do not have to be watered so often. Checking out the poll now..

  16. Another great poll! I was surprised at how many items I checked:

    rain garden
    rain barrel (haven't needed it since 2007)
    dry stream
    bird bath
    pond and fountain (a flowing stream/pond/waterfall)

    I have a drip irrigation system, but I didn't check "sprinkler" because to me that is an above ground spraying system.


  17. Hello Nell Jean,

    Drip irrigation and sprinklers for my lawn are what work hard in my garden, although we have had them turned off recently due to the large amounts of rainfall we have experienced :^)

  18. I'm a hose and watering can girl lol. My two hoses reach most of my gardens, but I have trouble reaching my hanging baskets without taking them down. I think I'm going to invest in a watering wand this year. Most of my gardens are on the dry side, except one part of my garden in the morning sun. That part is too close to a drain pipe from the eaves, and water floods there sometimes. Somehow my daffodil bulbs don't rot lol.

  19. It rains almost everyday on an ordinary day.
    And so too much water may tend to kill my plants.

  20. Great post. Think of my suprise when i came over to visit and saw pat's picture on your side bar. Thank you. it is humbling. jim

  21. I water the containers, new shrubs and trees, and the tomatoes in the greenhouse. That's it. Everything else is on its own. We have an excellent well, but we also live on clay, have springs running through our land in places, and have many fogs coming in off the Bay of Fundy, so watering isn't necessary for anything but those mentions above. I mulch things and plant quite closely too, so that also helps to reduce any possible watering needs. The flip side is that we don't have great drainage in winter. So it's always something.

  22. Yes, daylily foliage is bringing spring green back to Southern gardens, isn't it? I enjoyed catching a glimpse of you in the window-mirror. ;-) Thanks for joining in Foliage Follow-Up.

  23. We have a well that I use only for garden. I think that we could drink well water, but never took it for a proper test.

    I do a lot of mulching in garden, so no need for watering more that once a week.

    And we do have very nice rainy springs, so this helps with watering also.
    It’s interesting to read all other comments on garden watering...

  24. Every year i plan to buy a rain barrel for monsoon rains but rains are diminishing every year. The violas in previous post are spectacular.

  25. I try to plant mostly drought tolerant items in my gardens. We are know for our drought seasons in GA. But at times, I am swayed by a wonderful post on a certain non-drought plant. I only plant where my 200 feet of hose will go. I also hand water certain things which may need a little more water then others. I keep account of the rain that falls in my gardens with a rain gauge therefore, water only when necessary. I am so considering more container plantings this years, thus will be hand watering more…

  26. I have faucets where I attach hoses on both sides of the house. We have a sprinkler system built in, which, in the past several years, we have used sparingly. It gets used during long periods of heat and dryness and set to every few days, for the shortest time period recommended to keep moisture present (along with the use of lots of mulch to hold it in). When it is turned on, I set it for days and times that my county recommends for my particular street number and area. Am working on installing a rain barrel to the back this spring. Have just the place in mind for it.

  27. For the veggie garden my hubby puts out soaker hoses - last summer we had so much rain that we never took them out from winter storage. For the perennials, we have sprinklers that are really for the lawn but take care of the flower garden as well. The only place I have to drag out the hose is for the back porch containers. We have well water and live in a rainy part of the country so we are lucky not to deal with any drought issues but still do our best to conserve.

  28. Wow, not being able to access blotanical is leaving me deprived of garden news and happenings. It may be time to add all of my faves to my regular reader.

    I use soaker hoses in the veggie garden, on a timer when I'm away. Not always the best solution. The day we left for vacation, last year, it rained four inches, and then continued to rain everyday we were away. Of course, if I had just left it for two weeks, it probably wouldn't have rained at all. Lucky for the garden, our next vacation may be delayed until after harvesting.

    The flower beds are too new to leave to their own means, so I drag out the hose to water them as needed. Eventually, they'll either get soaker hoses or be able to survive on their own, for the most part anyway.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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