Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When It Rains....It Pours!

Obviously I need a bigger rain gauge.

Four inches of rain fell on My Garden Path between 2PM Sunday and 11AM Monday. 

The back yard is very low and has always held water at the bottom of the slope.  An attempt to make this area into a bog garden was begun last summer. 

Sedge, Cyperus involucratus, Papyrus, Cyperus papyrus, and Soft Rush, Juncus effusus, were planted here to help keep the soil in place.  A Crinum americanum was also planted in anticipation of flooding.  The water stands here for as long as 3-5 days and then will disappear.  Definitely a problem area.  This is the earliest flooding ever experienced for the bog.  Usually it is mid-June after repeated rains that the water stands like this.  The water table must be very high already for this one rain event to cause such a big puddle.

The Leather Leaf Fern, Rumohra adiantiformis, loved getting the rain and began putting up new fiddleheads.

The Resurrection Fern, Polypodium polypodioides, is showing it's loveliness on several of the oaks since the significant rainfall. 
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I can almost hear the mosquitoes buzzing.....


  1. I also have some flood areas in my garden. I am planning to build more raises beds on those areas, but will be another series of big projects... The summer is quickly approaching, not sure if I will have time... I am not plant expert at all (even not close!!!). I guess all those plants you put in that area love the water, and can stand the long-standing water??

    I hate mosquitos...

  2. The Resurection fern is interesting. I think there is one growing out of one of my trees or it looks like your picture to me. Is the fern growing wild or did you plant it on the tree?

  3. We got that rain over here, too. There was a veritable lake in the road. Still, "flooding" is a relative term in Florida!

    I love resurrection fern and was interested to see it growing vertically on palm trunks at Fairchild Garden.

  4. Ami - I definitely plan to bring in some good dirt to build up the area a bit. I was not expecting that much standing water so soon. Yes, those plants deal with the standing water and they also tolerate not having the water. It's a little difficult to find plants that can handle both. They came through the winter but are not as full as in the summer and fall.

    sanddune - the resurrection fern is growing wild. I have a few different spots of it growing on the oaks and one spot where it grows directly underneath the AC overflow. It is completely shriveled to where I can't see it at all and then when it rains - poof!

    Penny - That must have been some storm if you experienced it too. I do enjoy my resurrection fern as well as all the green after a rain.

  5. If you know of any places that sell plants for boggy spots let me know! I'm planting the papyrus but can't find any sedges and rushes yet.

  6. We had the same flood on Sunday and Monday. And you're right, the water table is unusally high for this time of year. It's nice not to hear the repeated calls to conserve water on the news. Oh, and the river is not so low as it usually is during spring break. Kinda nice.

  7. I have a spot just like this in my yard. At first I didn't like it, but now I've decided it's a unique feature in the garden. I planted philodendron, River birch and flag iris in this area. The flag iris are full of blooms and I can't wait to see them bloom. Looks like you've made some good choices for your area. I love the resurrection fern...it's amazing!

  8. Probably should get some frogs or toads breeding there to control those darn mosquito's.
    And maybe another legion of spiders and dragonflies to wipe them all.

    I wonder if you were thinking of making a water garden theme - waterlilies, lotus, water lettuce & water hycinth might just do the trick.

  9. Hello NanaK, you have such a BEAUTIFUL blog! I live in the same area as you, and we also had 4.1" of rain in our rain guage. I was astonished!

    The bog garden idea is really interesting. I wouldn't have thought to make that a garden feature, but what a great idea! Recently I attended a talk about native plants, and there are apparently many Florida native plants that love bog conditions.

  10. We were flooded too! So much rain. I like your sedge and papyrus. I have some really cool papyrus but I'm afraid I have it in the wrong space...needs more moisture. I'll move it to the low areas. Your space looks great!

  11. Steve - I found a lot of bog plants at a nursery in Largo, Florida. That's a bit of a drive from where you are. I found them while looking for a native plant nursery. Many Florida native plants can take the flood with dry periods.

    Floridagirl - You are so right about it being nice to not be in a drought. I have always hated this area of my backyard, but in the last couple of years I've enjoyed figuring out how to make it a little micro-climate.

    Susan - It sounds like you have really made the most of your wet area. I'll have to look into those flag iris. River birch sounds interesting too.

    James - Oh yeah, the frogs find this wet spot all on their own. This area doesn't stay underwater it just floods for a few days at a time and then dries up. This makes plant choices a little tricky. I don't think I'm up to making it into an actual pond. But lotus is beautiful.

    Dipity - Glad you found my blog. It's good to have you stop by. I've been struggling with this particular area for so long. I finally decided to embrace it for what it is. I just went to a native plant nursery and found lots of things to try in this area.

    Kimberly - Try your papyrus in a wetter spot. Is yours the one with the "frilly" top? I had some of that but it hasn't showed up since the big freeze. The other cyperus did fine through the cold.


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.