January 2012

For some time, I’ve been looking for something to put in the raised planter in the middle of my yard. Although my backyard is my mini-farm/orchard/vineyard,berry patch, I’ve always wanted to have a pretty ornamental in the central planter of the yard. I thought I would put in a small Japanese maple, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet. A week ago, I was reminded that a local nursery was getting out of the retail business and had an 80% off sale. I figured it was a pretty good time to use the $25 gift certificate I had picked up at a fund raiser several years ago, so I went to the nursery in search of the perfect Japanese maple. The nursery didn’t carry Japanese maples, but as I was walking around with one of the staff members, I asked about the pretty pink fuchsia in the five-gallon pot. Five minutes and five dollars later, I was loading the fuchsia in my car.

Knowing a storm was coming up at the end of the week, I planted the fuchsia on Wednesday week. I look forward to learning more about this plant and having it’s lovely flowers grace my garden in the coming years.

Rain gauge at 2.5 inches from yesterday's storm.

Rain gauge at 2.5 inches from yesterday's storm.

That was a nice storm yesterday, the first good one since early October, if I’m not mistaken. I’ve been watering my winter crops with rainwater from that early storm, using about 200 gallons so far. It’s unusual to need to irrigate in the winter, but I’m glad I’ve got my rainwater collection system.

Yesterday’s storm (with a few drops from Thursday) totaled nearly 2.5 inches. That was enough to completely fill my rain barrels, giving me another 260 gallons of water for irrigation.

A side note about the rain gauge: I put this up a month ago, as part of dealing with leftovers from my parents’ home. This was a Christmas gift to my dad many years ago and I’m happy to provide it a new home. It took me a while to figure out where to put it, since I didn’t want it to be “influenced” by trees or buildings. The only good place I found is on my grape trellis I installed in 2010. Now, it’s very accessible and a welcome addition to my garden.