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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring...

It's February. After a wild evening of snow, wind, ice and a crazy drive to the high school and back (1 hour to go 3 miles and come home again) we are being deluged with rain. With all this water around me, I thought I'd make some lemonade with these lemons and post about water in the garden.

Water in the garden can have the most amazing effect. Moving water creates soothing sounds that can mask the man-made sounds that seem to fill our world. But, even still water can calm us. The photo above shows a sight I came across while touring a garden in Michigan. Not too many of the visitors even saw this water feature, it was tucked away in a corner of the garden.

When I asked the home owner about this water feature she quickly explained that it was therapeutic. She told me that whenever she went into town and the woman at the bank was nasty to her, she'd come home, walk up to this spot and dunk the manikin's head under water. Sounds very therapeutic to me :-)

There are no water features here in my own little piece of heaven other than a monstrous swimming pool and a kiddie pool for our wonder-doodle Calie. Maybe that's why I find myself so drawn to water features where ever I go, I need one of my own! This second photo was taken at Wave Hill in New York City. I don't know what caught my eye first, the amazing plant material, the charming children that were entranced by this pond or the young man that was in the pond working so hard!

I would totally be remiss if I didn't encourage everybody to go on garden tours. Yes, tours of the public botanical places such as New York Botanical Gardens or Old Westbury Gardens are amazing, but the tours I'm talking about are through smaller, private gardens. Many plant societies and garden clubs run annual and regional tours. Most of my tours have been as a member of the American Hemerocallis Society (that means Daylilies, not a blood disease). Even if you aren't crazed with daylily collectoritis you will find many things totally unrelated to daylilies on those tours. You can go to the site at and click on "Conventions/Meetings" to find a tour that might be near you. You do not have to be a member of a local club or the American Hemerocallis Society to be on the tour but be forewarned, you might want to join after the tour :-)

So, on to the photo above. I took this photo in a garden in Mississippi and I wish I still knew the name of the man who had created this amazing garden. He dug canals all around his garden (it was on a lake if I remember correctly) and in the canals he had barges with daylilies growing in them! Now that's a man who likes to keep busy.

This last photo shows a pond in Ed's garden. Ed is a coworker of my husband Don and he has the most delightful garden here on Long Island (truthfully though I took this photo at least 10 years ago). Just under Ed's kitchen window he put in a small pond. First he dug the hole, then he layered it with carpeting he had found at the curb. On top of the carpet he put a rubber liner and around the edges he put small rocks he had found.

Although it's not in the photo, there was a small waterfall so that when the family ate at the kitchen table they could open the window and hear the water. How delightful is that!

Right now the only sound of water here is rain pelting the south side of our house. I will just sit here and be thankful. When steady rain comes in from the north, we end up with some of it in our basement.


GardenJoy4Me said...

Hum .... wet dog smell, LOL
Love the story about the water feature and what that woman does to the "woman" for stress busting .. I think we all need a little of that !
I don't have a water feature but I would love to have one .. of course I would love a secluded house and a magnificent garden to go with it .. and maybe a garden crew to keep it going just right ?
I would wander about snipping here and there instead of looking like I was hit by a dirt storm come hurricane ? hahaha .. BIG sigh !
Great posts !

Melanie Vassallo said...

Joy, right now it's raining so hard I have a creek crossing my front yard. As much as that has always been a dream of mine, I think I prefer it when the sun shines :-)

Anna--Flowergardegirl said...

It's snowing here!! We rarely get it so it's kind of a treat. It will be gone by morning. I need one of those dunking head women in my garden. It sounds like a wonderful way to rid stress. I don't have a water feature but would love one. It just seems I'm always finding a plant I want to buy instead of investing in a water feature. I do so much enjoy the sound they make.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I want a dunking head woman.