The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Howling Winds, Darkness, Drenching Rain.

Mrs. Ichabod said, "You got the rain you wanted.
You should be happy."

Today I visited with Almost Eden about the storm that bypassed us to rain on Eureka Springs, not far from the famous Thorncrown Chapel. Almost Eden was watering his plants, skeptical about promises of rain. Yes, it felt like rain again, and it was cooler, but that does not mean much here. I continue to think that the mountains above and below us speed up the clouds that rush past, laden with rain.

Thorncrown Chapel


Barbra Streisand is a productive lavender rose.

I thought the stored rain was aging in the barrels, so I decided to spread it around favorite and needy plants. I am building up the Barbra Streisand rose for a friend who loves lavender roses. Daily doses of rain brought the rose back after looking a bit dry and tired from the torrid heat. Other roses along the fence also benefited. A few Japanese beetles enjoyed a couple of Mr. Lincoln roses, so I cut their lunch off.

Today I was laughing as I carried my buckets of rain to the roses, feeling like a peasant. I made sure the front yard and backyard containers were all emptied. I also watered the main rose garden completely. The wind kicked up and began howling. I put some additional weight on the cardboard covering the Hosta garden. I told our helper, "Nothing brings on a wind storm like fresh cardboard."

He said, "No kidding." I put the three seed containers (zinc garbage cans) on the cardboard, plus mulch bags and containers of newspapers. The cardboard held, so I put fresh seed in the feeders as rain began to follow the wind.

When I came inside, the sky darkened even more, and thunder boomed. Normally the rain drips off the roof, so the roof is a great collector of rain for the gardens. I went inside. This time we felt like we were behind a small waterfall, looking out.

I got the rain I wanted in about one hour, one to two inches, plus some light rain afterwards. Sassy and I had a cool afternoon walk later.

Japanese beetles spoil roses,
but we do not have many.

What have we learned today?

  • Rain is unpredictable, so it is good to store some and ladle it out, without giving the skeeters a home.
  • Rain is liquid fertilizer, the safest kind, benefiting plants and creatures at the same time.
  • Cardboard is a magnet for wind, so weigh down the cardboard layer of your future garden.

Cardboard keeps the weeds from bursting through the mulch later.