I love California after the rain when the hills turn fluorescent green. This is one of the farms along Los Osos Valley Road.

Los Osos Valley Road after the rain.


Finally Rain!

We have had a really awful winter here in California. Only 3 days of rain (if that) in the fall. No rain at all in January. Unusually cold freezes in early December followed by unusually hot weather in late December and January (it got into the upper 80’s here in Los Osos and at one point in January San Luis Obispo was clocking the warmest weather in the entire country at 91 degrees!).

So I am definitely celebrating the inch or so of rain on Sunday and the rain again today. Of course it would probably have to rain like this every day until April to help us out with the three years of drought we have had since I moved here but I’ll take whatever I can get.

Aside from the fact that my video shows you what the front of your house looks like in a rain storm when you don’t have gutters you can also make out the blooms of Cuphea ‘Minnie Mouse’, Chrysanthemum paludosum, Salvia confertiflora, Clarkia rubicunda ssp. blasdalei, and Fuchsia galveziana in the background. And beyond the white fence there is a newly planted California native garden that still needs to be mulched but is very appreciative of this rain.

Thunder and Lightning!

Crazy storm last night. Thunder and lightning and tipping down rain.  For weather reasons I don’t understand southern coastal California doesn’t get a lot of thunder storms.  Once or twice a year at most.  It is one of the few things I miss about the east coast.  Maybe it is too cool here?  If someone can explain it please do.

Well one of the good things about it being cool all the time is plants grow slowly and tend to have pretty sturdy stems.  No heat waves to send up lots of lush lanky growth. So walking around this morning, aside from some soil washed into paths, there was not much damage.

One casualty was this Penstemon eatonii flowering stem.  It is now in a vase in the kitchen.

Penstemon eatonii – firecracker Penstemon

This Penstemon is more of a desert mountain plant from eastern California to the Rocky Mountains. It is happy in heat and needs perfect drainage so I’m not sure how well it will do here long-term.  But it is blooming now.

I said rain! Rain! Not hail!

Well we had some nice torrential rain last night and everything got a good soaking.  Despite how heavy it was all the plants held up well.  Even some small seedlings I put outside last week in my makeshift nursery area don’t seem too bothered by all the rain.  The only casualty was one Festuca in the mediterranean garden that got washed away in a deluge and I found that in the driveway next door.

I went outside to pick up a few pots that blew over and suddenly felt like I was being stung by hundreds of angry little bees.

No that isn’t a bag of perlite that exploded.  It’s hail! (Please ignore all the random different soil colors.  It will look nicer when I have mulched I swear!)

Luckily it only lasted a minute or two and no damage seems to have been done to the plants.

It was supposed to rain through Monday but it looks like that has changed now and Monday will just be cloudy and overcast.  Hopefully we get a few more showers tomorrow and the weather stays cool all week.  My California native annuals are not doing as well as I would like because the weather has been so warm and dry.  Many of them are already blooming even though they haven’t put on as much growth as I would like and it is too early.