Last month I wrote about the rain that came and stayed just after I had my gutters taken off the house – rain that kept the face boards wet, making it impossible to repair and replace rotted wood that had held the gutters. Rainy days seemed to go on forever.
Well, I'm back to report that the long wait is over; a recent rain break was just long enough to allow carpenters to repair, replace and paint face boards. Buuut (in gardening and life, buts often are in the picture). Buuut, the water that runs off the roof still hits the ground of course, and I had to figure out how to corral it. At one point, I wheeled in a rain barrel, aka plastic garbage can. But the first heavy rain filled up the barrel in no time, spilling over and gouging holes right at my front door.
I needed another solution. I decided to try embracing the rain instead of trying to contain it, or manage it. I certainly couldn't fight it. As we all know, in a contest with nature, whether animal or insect, or weather, nature always wins.
My solution is plant-based; I put in plants that love, or at least tolerate, lots of water. Since planting, I've had light showers to the gully washers that
typify weather in much of America these days. The image below shows damp
ground after one of our almost daily showers. Horsetail reed (foreground) and rain lily love the wet.
Below, the lake effect quickly materializes when the skies throw down water by the barrel. Amazing, the lake recedes in a few hours, leaving the plants unfazed.
The rain chains? Ornamental, one at each end of the house. Over the years, they've developed a nice patina, much like some of us ol' gardeners. They don't stop the rain, but they look real good trickling it down to the ground.
Record rains make lakes, whether you're guttered or gutterless. I choose the latter. And with it, I get a rain garden.