Monday, May 7, 2007

Just Singing in the Rain

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain

What a glorious feelin'

I'm happy again

Finally, after breaking yet another weather record, this time for the longest period without rain ever in the Netherlands (which stands now at a whopping 45 days), it rained!!!!

Last night I woke up because of a strange noise I heard, it was the long awaited rain that came pouring down in the night. I never thought I could ever be happy because of rainfall. Usually it's something that's guaranteed to make me grumpy as it rains quite a lot here. We have roughly the same weather as in England, so quite mild but with lots and lots of rain.

My garden needed rain. Just look at the grass and see how brown and dry it is, and it's only the beginning of May.
The earth was so dry that large cracks appeared, and this is heavy clay so normally quite wet.
Because rain was forecast, the human part of the Bliss team went out and bought another rain butt and now we have 3. We want to save more rainwater in case there is another long period without rain. Which is entirely possible of course, as we are just into spring and summer is yet to come. Last year we had the warmest July in over 300 years and all the plants in pots needed to be watered at least twice a day. There's no way of knowing if it will be as hot and dry again this summer too.

On Sunday the new rain barrel was installed next to the garden cottage so the rain, that falls on that roof, will no longer disappear into the ground, but will be stored in the rain barrel.

The rain barrel has a pedestal, just like the one in the ornamental kitchen garden, so its tap is placed high enough to put a watering can under. Very handy!
The under-gardener cut a hole in the lid of the rain barrel, cut the drain pipe to size, plugged the tap in and that was that.
All we had to do now was wait for rain.

And while we waited for rain, we did a lot of work in the garden this weekend, that had to be done before the rain came. Of course all work and no play will make even the Bliss team rather dull, so there was time for fun: here's Pippa rolling on the lawn.
And games: Surprise has caught a mouse.
And discoveries, like this one, the beautiful rosa Calypso in flower for the first time this year. It's such a lovely rose; all strawberries and cream in colour and with a wonderful sweet scent.

And yet another discovery, this time in the kitchen garden, my new Clematis, Rouge Cardinal, which looks great. I'm not too keen on red but this is a rich burgundy red that I really like.
I'll leave you with a picture of my garden I took 5 minutes ago of the little seating area that is not only being showered with rain but with blossom petals as well. Pretty, isn't it?

It is not raining rain to me
It's raining violets.
Robert Loveman 1864-1923


Carol said...

It is a pretty little sitting area. And I am happy for you to get some much needed rain, hopefully the beginning of a normal weather pattern for your garden. Here in my garden, sunny & cool, perfect for spring planting!

Susan said...

Yolanda — I'm glad you're getting rain. We've been in a rainy cycle for a few weeks now, with not much sun coming through. May is the rainiest month in Austin but I'm ready for some sunshine.

— Susan at South of the River

Hannele said...

I like your photos, I'm waiting for my Clematis.
I'm singing in the rain too ;)

Layanee said...

YE: Rain is a blessing! Very pretty seating area. I love the rain barrels! I went to Bermuda many moons ago and all the houses there are built to collect the rainwater. They have large cisterns in their basements. There is little natural fresh water there. Are there any worries about what is in the rainwater collected? Just wondering.

Lis said...

Oh das ist aber gemein! Hier hat es immer noch nicht geregnet und die Fässer sind nach wie vor leer. Vielleicht regnet es ja morgen, aber nur vielleicht!
LG Lis

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Blis!

Carol: how nice that you have the perfect weather for your gardening holiday. And I'm happy with the rain here as long as it won't last for weeks on end.

Susan: I didn't know that May is your rainiest month. Let's hope that there will be lots of sunshine for you to enjoy soon!

Hannele: so we're both singing! :-)

Layanee: not really, the rainwater I collect myself is used for the plants only. But there are systems available with special filters to make the water suitable for human consumption.

Lis: I'm sorry to hear that there is still no rain in your area. Hopefully it will come soon now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Annie in Austin said...

Hearing the sound of rain on parched earth is wonderful, isn't it? Across the vast center of the US, most gardens exist with alternating flood and drought, either too much water or none.
We can try to impose tranquility on them, but there's little natural tranquility in the terrain.

You've managed to integrate the rain butts quite well into your garden, Yolanda - and this artistic touch doesn't surprise us one bit ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Jalos said...

Hallo, wat leuk om nog een tuinblog te ontdekken!
Ik heb even rondgekeken en je verhaaltjes gelezen, wat een gedaantewisseling van je tuinhuis, hij is prachtig geworden, heel erg sfeervol!
Ik kom gauw weer eens langs!


Kylee said...

So you have that awful clay, too! I hate it. Mom and I said we need to start making pottery. LOL.

Just last year, we put out a rain barrel for one of the downspouts. I love using that water for the containers.

I love your little sitting area!

Seriously, I need to visit you someday... Maybe when I win the lottery. LOL.

Anna said...

I hope that the rain comes this way - here it in the north west of England it was promised for today but never materialised. We have had a warm,very dry spring too. Your garden looks delightful Yolanda and I enjoy reading your blog.

Birgit said...

Ja, Yolanda, auch bei uns war es der April mit der längsten Trockenperiode und der Garten hatte den Regen dringend nötig. Seit letzter Nacht regnet es nun auch hier, und nicht zu schwach. Ein richtiger warmer und schöner Landregen. Gold für die Beete. Unsere Katzen gehen heute kaum und gar nicht raus. Trotzdem wünsche ich uns allen bald wieder Sonnenschein, damit wir wieder raus können. Die Rosa Calyposo ist wirklich wunderschön, aber auch die Clematis Rouge Cardinal. LG Birgit

Gorden & Planten said...

I wish your always enough water in your rain barrel. Greetings from Germany.

P.S.: I have added your blog to my blogroll, because it makes fun to read your blog.

Sanni said...

Oh my, it has really been dry in your garden. Congratulations about the rain! After having an own garden I have started to appreciate rainy weather too.

We´ve had kind of lot of rain this spring in Finland (it usually much dryer). And now my garden is enjoing it, when it´s getting warmer.

I like your clematis! And all of your photos are so nice again :)

SchneiderHein said...

Hallo Yolanda, Wolfgang summt jetzt "singing in the rain" zum Regen. Maus&Allegra liegen in den Schränken und wollten sich heute keine nassen Pfoten holen. Und ich bange wann unsere Regenfässer am Haus überlaufen und ich im Regen gießen muss. Regen hat Vor- und Nachteile, aber im Moment freue ich mich auch über das langersehnte Nass von oben!
Liebe Grüße Silke

marl1 said...

Wat een ravijnen ontstaan er in de klei- heerlijke grondsoort om te bewerken hè ;-)Maar de (meeste) planten doen het er prima op...dus dat hakken moet dan maar!
Als je nog een dagje doorzingt dan zijn onze tonnetjes ook vol (dezelfde) en dan is het wel weer genoeg....
Erg mooie kleur de Clematis!

rusty in miami said...

We also got rain last nigh and this morning it was music to my ears. I got to get one of those rain barrels it looks very convenient.

gardenmomma (Chris) said...

Hi Yolanda E,
Your photos were wonderful, as usual, but your rain barrels really caught my eye. I have been wanting one for the past year. We are in the middle of a drought right now in TX. How hard was it to set up? How much modification on your downspout? Good to visit with you again!

~ Janice ~ said...

I found your blog this evening and it's very nice! I love your cats and flowers. Congratulations on receiving the much needed rain!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss. Thanks for your comments!

Annie: I was very happy to hear the rain fall after 7 weeks of no rain at all.

Jalos: welkom en ja dat tuinhuis ziet er nu toch wel een heel stuk beter uit. :-)

Kylee: I garden on heavy clay too, not the easiest way of gardening. Hope you win that lottery! ;-)

Anna: welcome and I hope you've had some rain now too. It's been dry for far too long. I'm glad you like reading my blog.

Birgit: I'm happy for you that you have had some good rain too. The cats here don't want to go outside in the rain either. They prefer sunshine. ;-)

Gorden&Planten: thanks for your kind wish!

Tyra said...

Hi Yolanda, it looks wonderful with rain. Still no rain here to talk about. I think I got five drops yesterday. I bet it smells nice now as well. Love that smell. And you know after singing in the rain you can sing "the sun will come out tomorrow"

lenie said...

kom hier wel heel erg moeilijk op ,leuk dat je op mijn blog was , ziet er hier goed uit kom nog weleens terug als ik er op kan komen tenminste ;))
probeer het weer es ....groet lenie

Verena said...

we got rain in Austria last week and I have to say that it seems as if May and April had changed their roles because at the moment we have sun, wind and rain at the same time!
The funny thing is, that last year we´ve been in Amsterdam for five days and all of these days we had wind and rain! I think i should have come in July instead
of May :-)!
Lots of greetings, Verena

Heidi said...

It is a relief to finally have this rain isn't it! I keep hoping it will start again today but it is late afternoon now on Tuesday. We need even more. I found it very cozy yesterday while the rain came down. I spent the day working on my stitching and quilting while the garden was being looked after for me.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Welcome to Bliss everybody!

Sanni: perhaps Finland got the rain that we normally have? Rain is very important for our gardens.

Silke: rain is a 2 edged sword, on the one hand we need it, on the other it stops us from doing what we like best: being outside in the garden with our cats.

Marleen: klei is inderdaad niet de meest makkelijke grondsoort om op te tuinieren, maar vruchtbaar is het wel.

Die clematis is inderdaad erg mooi van kleur. Op het plaatje kan iets er soms erg mooi uitzien maar in het echie? Deze stelt in ieder geval niet teleur, integendeel!

Rusty: the rain barrels are excellent for filling your watering can and then watering all the plants in pots.

Chris: it's very easy to do. We just sawed a bit of the downspout off so it would fit into the barrel , punched a hole in the lid of the barrel (it was already pre-cut), plugged the tap in the designated hole and that was pretty much that. Installing the rain barrel took about 10 minutes, no more.

Janice: glad you enjoyed Bliss.

Tyra: still no rain? We had lots yesterday. Today it's mostly overcast but dry, a bit windy though. And yes, tomorrow I'll be singing that song because after 2 days of no sun, I long for sunshine and so do my kitties. ;-)

Lenie: leuk dat je er bent. Over het algemeen is mijn blog makkelijk toegankelijk dus probeer het nog eens. ;-)

Verena: it rains a lot in the Netherlands, all year round in fact. The best months to visit would be June and July, but even then you run the risk of rain.

Heidi said...

I only just said I was waiting for more rain and guess what??? It started raining here in Amersfoort.

A wildlife gardener said...

Yep, we've been having these heavy downpours too in the past few days, so the garden is greening up nicely. Loved the cat and mouse pic, and the exquisite rose, Calypso.

The twos photos were brilliant, esp the cuddling cats!

shirl said...

Hi Yolanda,

Glad you have finally had some rain – us too. Your plants will take on another growth spurt now! Funnily enough rain isn’t usually a problem for my part of Scotland either but it has been very dry until now too.

I too have recently installed a rain barrel – it’s great that we have now finally collected water in it! Today I used this water to top up bird baths as the birds
have also been looking for water to drink and bathe. There’s more rain forecasted tomorrow – lovely!

Gotta Garden said...

Ahhh...I think I'll just have a seat...wet and all, lol! We had rain on Sat, but it must not have been all that much as I've had to do some watering the last couple of days. I like the idea of saving your rain water.

The clematis here are just starting to open...I like yours! I find they can be fun to collect, too...although I am trying not to!

Glad you got rain!

Petunia's Gardener said...

What a nice visit to your garden! And it smells so fresh after a rain. That Calypso is beautiful. I didn't realize until I saw your blog how mild your winters can be. I do hope you have a normal summer with enough sunshine and also enough rain. I hope we don't drain our rain barrels dry this summer either.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and thanks for your comments on Bliss!

Heidi: hurrah, you had some more rain! BTW it sounds very nice to work on your quilt when it's raining outside. ;-)

WG: it's been exceptionally dry is most parts of Europe; in Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, The Netherlands etc. so we are all happy there's been some rain at long last.
The cuddling kittens is one of my favorite pics too, the little kitten on the left stayed to live with me. Her mum is Pippa and she is Delia. The kitten on the right is her brother Delius.

Shirl: it has been so very dry in most of Europe which is very unusual. Glad you had some rain too. Rain barrels to collect rain water in is a very good idea, it's saves on the water bill and it's good for the environment. :-)

GG: saving rain water is a good idea and it's very easy to do, so go for it!
It's not so bad to collect Clematis as they don't take up all that much space in the garden, as most of them go up. ;-) I've got 9 so far and there will be more!

PG: thanks! Let's hope that none of our rain barrels will get dry this summer. Sunshine, and lots of it, is great, but we need a bit of rain every now and again.
The Calypso is a lovely rose, I'm glad I bought it, everytime I look at it, it makes me smile. No 2 flowers are the same. Just love those splodges of colour and it's fragrant as well, what more could you ask for?

Bert said...

Rain at last.I only hope it won't get to wet now. Your garden wil turn greener now. How are you potatoes doing? Weather extremes can benice but also a bother. I hope you won't be flushed now.