Human Flower Project
Saturday, April 28, 2007
As Rain Is Our Gardener
With twice the average rainfall, even lazy Texas gardeners are looking good.
”Dorothy” poppies and bachelor buttons, April 28, 2007
Photo: Human Flower Project
We learned that another neighbor has gone over to the dark side: i.e. installed an irrigation system. Well? With Austin’s yearly average rainfall of only 32 inches, why haven’t we done so, too? On sanctimonious days we call our stance “water conservation.” There’s also the matter of being too cheap to have a system put in and too lazy to do it ourselves.
Hillary Clinton declared recently, “Hope is not a strategy.” Perhaps not in the Iraq War, Senator, but in gardening, yes it is. In fact, it’s our strategy. And this spring it’s succeeded. Our usually moribund yard has poured out daisies, larkspur, roses, phlox, ranunculus, cornflowers, and poppies. All we did was toss out seed, thin a few sprouts, weed some, and listen to the rain come down.
April 2007, thanks to nearly twice normal rainfall in Austin, TX
Since New Year’s Day, we’ve gotten over 17 inches of rain, that’s more than 8 inches above normal. And May is usually the wettest month here (averaging 5.03 inches). So South Austin blogger Susan may be right: the good times could last awhile. Our most assiduous garden weather tracker locally is hands down M. Sinclair Stevens. MSS’s amazing “Week by Week in the Garden” feature puts the booms or busts of the present into perspective. Every locale should be so lucky as to have a detailed record of weather and growth patterns, beautifully illlustrated.
When does your rainy season arrive? If you haven’t actually noticed and live in the U.S., you can check out the National Weather Service site and enter your ZIP code to find out. Thinking more broadly, here’s a quickie movie of global rainfall from January ‘97 to May ‘98. No wonder people on the Pacific islands can hand out leis!
For information a lot more current, here you can find rainfall amounts in the past three hours anywhere in the world, a dandy service provided by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission. TRMM is a joint effort of NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.
We’d like to hear about your gardening strategy, even if it does include PVC pipe. Hope for rain worked for us these past few months; June may call for drumming.