April Showers OK, But This Is Ridiculous

When she emailed me the photo below, Judy asked if this is what they mean by an island bed.

Island Bed
Island in the stream? My back garden. Guess I don’t have to worry about filling the bird bath.

The Chicago area got 5″ of rain last night. Rain continued through the day, and more heavy rain is expected tonight. Streets and basements are flooded – though thankfully our own basement has been OK so far.

It’s hard to complain about too much moisture after last year’s horrendous drought – but come on! Can’t we have a little moderation in the weather department, not just drought and deluge?

I’ve actually been away all week, and will be returning home tomorrow. I’ll be seriously aggravated if the soil is too wet for me to get into the garden this weekend. Working soggy soil is a big no-no, it ruins the soil structure and just walking on wet soil can result in compaction.

backyard flooding
Another view of the back garden. My bird feeders look like a sort of weird buoy or lighthouse.

Plus, I’m expecting a shipment of plants from Bluestone Perennials by Saturday!

The other thing to worry about is that the roots of some plants will start to rot if kept in saturated soil for a long period. Fortunately, a lot of my plants are water lovers – Joe Pye weed  (Eutrochium purpureum), New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). Many others are growing in freely-draining raised beds.

Are you being overwhelmed by April showers this year?

52 Comments on “April Showers OK, But This Is Ridiculous

  1. Hey Jason…I will be popping in to check on my favorite blogs but I won’t be posting for a bit…I am one of the lucky ones who had water rushing into my house this morning….needless to say I have much to do. I hear you about the water. SO many extremes in our weather patterns.

  2. As I was saying…aah Sprinter! I haven’t turned over a single trowel-full of dirt yet. Still have snow and frozen ground.

  3. Ohhhh Shoot!!!! That is terrible! Sorry to hear that!!!! But on the bright side, your back yard looks beautiful even in the rain. Very Euro chic with that black metal seating area 🙂 Maybe you and Judy can cuddle under an umbrella with some tea and breathe in all that fresh air??

    • We would also need some rubber boots. But I’m very glad to hear we are Euro chic! I will definitely let the neighbors know.

  4. Jason, what a photo! I thought it was water from the river. Yes, rain is good thing but not for a long time! All tonnes of snow here melts fast and now we have tonnes of water in the garden, because the ground is still frozen.
    Have a dry weekend!

    • Yes, we often have that same kind of flooding, with water stuck above the frozen ground. And then sometimes that water freezes, and you can ice skate everywhere!

  5. We haven´t had any real rain for months. So even though we had a lot of snow, we could also do with some quiet rain. I hope you can do some gardening this weekend, we are behind with a lot of things.

  6. Oh dear, that IS a lot of rainwater. We’ve got rain too, but living on a steep slope is a major advantage. Hope it dries up for you when you get home.

  7. That’s a serious amount of rain, Jason – I so hope it doesn’t ruin any of your plants. I am hoping for some rain here, but perhaps not quite as much as that!

  8. I’ve had heavy showers in march, with part of my garden flooded by the pond but not as much as your garden in the pictures! Wet soil caused more losses than drought and cold together, at least in my garden, anyway I’m sure your garden will drain the water quickly and anything will be affected. I guess your new arrivals shall be kept waiting for at least a week, though.

  9. It’s been dry enough here so wildflowers like coltsfoot were wilting yesterday, but we’re getting light rain now. It seems like you’ve had more than your share of lousy weather so far this year.

  10. Here in central CT we could actually use a little rain.. Tonight is supposed to bring some. Nothing about weather is “normal” anynore. Here’s to hoping you dry out and get some productive garden time this weekend.

  11. I loved the “island in the stream” caption. But – 5 inches!!! A little much! We got 1″ yesterday, which was very, very welcome and much needed. Nothing you can do about all that rain, so just try to remember – April showers bring May flowers!

  12. Not so far yet though usually NJ do experience shower as moves from winter to NJ. Hopefully by weekend you will have sunny days to work in the garden.

  13. Yikes! We’ve had another big storm come through, but no garden floods (yet). A few weeks ago I had to bring out the hoses and start watering, so I’m not too upset about the rain. But I’m afraid that all the weeding I did last week will have to be redone when this soggy weekend is over. And I’m itching to get to the nurseries. I “need” a Korean Spice Viburnum!

    • Weeding always has to be redone. And redone, and redone. Funny, I also need a Korean Spice Viburnum desperately, even though I have no place for it.

  14. That doesn’t look good does it Jason!! You have my sympathies – most of my garden was like this last august/september. You may well be surprised at what survives. I hope it dries up quickly for you!
    I had visions of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers singing for their supper out there in your garden..lol!

  15. I flew in and out of Chicago this morning and saw roads still under water. What a mess. Now I’m waiting in Minneapollis watching the snow. Wonder what I’ll find in Huron? Glad I didn’t wear my flip flops.

  16. What a lot of rain. We had something similar last year, a very dry early spring and then rain, rain rain. The plants will be fine, dont forget the ground will have been very dry so will soak at the water quickly

    • Actually, both Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River hit record low depths recently, enough of a drop to really hurt shipping, especially on the river, so we do need to make up for last year’s drought.

  17. Wow, that’s a lot of rain in a short time, we have had some very sharp showers here in London too last week, with really heavy downpours, but nothing compared to you. I am also lucky that my garden drains very well so even if it might look quite soggy while it still rains it only takes an hour or two and the garden is fine again. I hope it dries up for you quickly so you can enjoy your delivery as soon as possible, always exciting with plant deliveries!

  18. Oh, I sure hope you don’t have to put on waders! That’s a terrible scene. How frustrating to be kept from the garden by too much of a good thing.

    Here-abouts, we got a little moisture (maybe half an inch) from the last storm, which left as much as three feet of snow on the ski resorts and 18 inches of wet snow in Denver. Wish we could be just as immune from the cold as we seem to be from the snow.

  19. Wow! My in-laws were reporting the same thing about the Plainfield/Romeoville area. We’ve had too much rain up here, too–in particular the Rock River and the Crawfish River. My plants are a little soggy, but the incline of the yard means most of the moisture is draining into the curb gutter. I hope the weather dries out for you this weekend. Take care.

  20. Wow, that’s really wet! Our backyard was wet last week but dried out. Tonight it rained so I’ll see how it looks tomorrow.

  21. That’s BC west coast kind of rain….we moved away from that to up in the Okanagan…where we get a few days of sprinkles and a bit of a shower, and they say it’s rain.

    Hopefully things will dry out soon for you.


  22. I have a few spots that do this every year due to clay soil, drainage and all our snow and spring rains…had to find natives that love to be wet for those areas.

  23. Hello!
    Incredible. In heavy rain you?
    The soil does not need more water.
    I hope nothing happened to the plants.
    Sincerely yours 🙂

  24. Oh yikes! I hope your soil dries out soon. It is so frustrating to have the spring itch to plant and have to hold off because of the weather. Good luck!!

  25. Hi Jason, wow, that’s an incredible amount of rain in such a short time. I hope it quickly soaked away (especially with the lack of rain you’ve had recently) and your plants didn’t suffer too much. It looks like a sign to go for bog and waterside plants this year!

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