A Little Rain, A Lot Of Chopping

 Once I started cutting back Grevillea 'Moonlight', I didn't stop.  At first it was just to give the nearby Aloes more sun, and to give me access so I could dig out the Puya.  But, it continued, becoming overall size reduction.  

Pruning bouquet in a bucket: 

 The Grevillea sprouted new growth almost immediately from every cut branch, so a reduction in size to keep the beastie manageable seemed to be viable.  

Lots of chopping to get rid of.  This is just a small bit of it:


Finally, finished.  Hopefully 'Moonlight' will be lush and full of flowers again in late winter and spring, when the Orioles nest and are hungry for nectar:

 Tufts of new growth sprouting plentifully from bare, cut stem:

We got a small surprise--a bit of rain Monday night between 8:00 and 9:00 pm, along with lightning and thunder.  Afterwards, during the night, it sprinkled and drizzled several times.  Tuesday morning, the garden was washed and refreshed.  I'd put a couple of buckets by the downspout diverter, not expecting any rain at all, and both buckets were filled.  Water from the roof is filthy after six dry months, but I distributed it anyway.  Too precious to waste, and water becomes dirty as soon at it hits the ground, doesn't it? 

Agave 'Mr. Ripple', dust removed: 

Agave titanota 'White Ice', all clean:

Aptly common-named "rain lilies", Zephyranthes candida:

An excellent little low care edging plant for sunny spots that get some irrigation.

Another plant that seems to respond to rain with flowers is Leucophyllum.  My own 'Thunder Cloud'.  Silver and violet is a stunning combination:

And a neighbor's Leucophyllum frutescens(?), with flowers more pink than 'Thunder Cloud's violet.  Not a single flower could be seen on Monday morning.  Three days later: 
Humming with bees: 
 Overgrown and bloomed out and tired after a long summer, still even one bit of rain refreshes it all:

Even the Opuntia looks renewed: 

Peak Pentas.  These will decline as night time temperatures drop below 60F (15C).
A California Towhee bathing in the urn.  Not the usual bather.  
Cuphea 'Vermillionaire' got chopped to the ground some weeks ago.  It grows back into a perfect, tidy  globe. 
Limonium perezii also burst into flower:
Reliable 'Ambridge Rose':
First two phyllodes on the Acacia glaucoptera seedling. 

A phyllode is a flattened leaf stalk which has probably evolved as a means of conserving moisture in dry climates.  Phyllodes photosynthesize, just as true leaves do.  The phyllodes increased the height of the seedling to a whopping two inches (5 cm).
Rain is magic!
  Has rain done some magic in your garden lately? 


  1. OMG - it IS magic! It fills me with such a relief when it returns. We've not had enough to truly penetrate the soil more than about an inch or so, but that in itself feels luxurious after such a horrid summer. Your Moonlight grevillea is gorgeous - that fine texture is just glorious. I bet it will look phenomenal again, soon. And, I admire your guts for taking it on like that. I would be way too chicken, I think. But, you managed to make it look great!

    1. Yes, relief and celebration. The plants seem to feel it too.

      Any rain that penetrated here an inch would be a major system. Enjoy!

      Hopefully 'Moonlight' will be okay--the nectar feeders love it so. It wasn't that hard--the hard part is fitting the trimmings into the green waste bins. Wish I had the room to compost everything.

  2. The rainwater I collected in 2 plastic trugs from the rain chain was was equally dirty but I did just what you did and used it to water some very dry areas. I've lost so many plants this summer, I'm not about the waste water either. My 50-gallon tank filled up on 0.09/inch of water too! I'm hoping we get more rain overnight. Given how dry it's been , I need more than one dose of magic before I see any impact. I'm about one-third through a pile of mulch I had dropped in the driveway yesterday afternoon, which I hope will also help.

    1. Sounds like you got a good amount from even just a tiny rainfall. Your tanks are great!

      We just got a bit more yesterday, maybe .1" Better than nothing.

      Good luck with the rest of your mulching project. It's a whole lot of effort, though it does pay off.

  3. Yes, we had the same rain as you got! So wonderful and I can feel my gardens breathe a sigh of relief! Here in Phoenix rain in any amount is definitely a Godsend! I capture all I can off the roof as you do. SoCal and Phoenix needs every drop!

    1. That's great, Nancy. Happy plants means happy gardener!

  4. That's for sure. And thank you for all your inspiration that you have given me. It means so much.

    1. Nancy you are so kind to even look at my blog. Thank you!

    2. Yours, Gerhard's, and Loree's are my go to blogs!

  5. Oh those Grevillea 'Moonlight' flowers! So dreamy. Nice work on the pruning job as well.

    1. Dreamy, yes, and food for bees and nectar feeding birds as well. Win-win!

  6. Oh, I love a rain-soaked garden. A fabulous photos of 'Mr. Ripple' and that wavy Opantia. I remember when you pruned Cuphea 'Vermillionaire'. It's amazing how good it looks now, and blooming again!

    1. not soaked, unfortunately, but maybe some time this winter! So we hope anyway.

      The 'Vermillionaire' will now look fairly decent for the "winter" (our version of winter) instead of ratty. I just cut back a different 'Vermillionaire' and am curious to see if it can grow back a bit now that the nights have dropped slightly below 60F. Soil temp lags air temp?


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