Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Aftermath, The Good, and a Little Cuckoo

This past Monday (two days ago) we had a lot of rain in a very short period of time.  It was 2 1/2 inches in about 45 minutes.  Since it was late in the evening we had to wait until the next morning to see what this gully-washer did.  For those who are new to the blog, I live on a sloped lot.    The top of the street the elevation is 480 feet above sea level, the house is about 465 ft. and the lake is at 440 ft.  Downhill all the way to the lake.   The picture below shows a lot of the washout.  Lost a lot of the leaf litter and a lot of the top layer of soil.   The pathway lost a lot of mulch too.  


 There are a lot of tunnels throughout the hillside.  Who makes them?  Moles? Snakes? Chipmunks? Lizards? Who knows.  I have lost a few Echinacea but not much else, so not 100% sure it is Moles & their little friends the Voles.

This is a Canna  Calla (oops) Lily that is just about to bloom....see all the roots exposed?  There were a lot of roots exposed all through the garden.
 Poor little borage had all its soil washed away, all that was left was the potting mix and the plant laying on top of the soil.   I replanted it quickly.  Crossing my fingers on it.
 The other little babies that got carried away by the rushing water were some small Blackberry Lilies, Belamcanda chinensis.  These little guys got replanted tonight.   I shoveled some washed out soil over the exposed roots as well.  Once I get back from Asheville I will figure out what else I need to do.
As for the Gardenia bush that fell over....I dug it up and replanted it.  There was no root damage.  It was just top heavy.  I pruned it back a good bit and anchored it with a couple heavy rocks from the driveway.  Will have to keep it pruned lower until the root system is larger and stronger.

Now for the good....a quick overview of the goodies in the garden.

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Coppertina'

Astilbe 

Callirhoe involucrata Winecups

Knockout Rose
 The red roses are blooming and really pretty...but I have to show you, it is a small shrub.   At this point I am just glad the deer haven't eaten it!


 Catmint, Nepeta racemosa Walker's Low is truly a pollinator magnet.  The activity was amazing!  

Lots of bumblebees, nary a honey bee. 

Lucky for me, the Yorktown Onion didn't get washed away, it was right next to the water's pathway.  


The Edgeworthia chrysantha are super happy.  Love their large leaves.  

And finally, a little Cuckoo...made an ID on a bird that we have heard in the trees, and finally today, I SAW IT!!  To top it off...I got a picture too.  This is a Yellow Billed Cuckoo.  Here is the sound he makes.

Tomorrow I leave for Asheville for the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling.  Stay tuned for updates!!


©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

34 comments:

  1. Have a safe journey! Hope the garden does ok without you.

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    1. Thanks Alison, wish you had come, it was a great time.

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  2. I too live on a slope, my husband and I were just looking at some washed out areas yesterday evening. I have used liriope to help in some areas......love the winecups and the Cuckoo bird sounds so funny! Be safe and have fun...

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    1. Darla, I go between plant material and stone work (dry creek bed). Sure was a fun weekend.

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  3. Janet,
    Be safe on your journey to NC! I can't hardly believe the wash out around your canna lily. Cool on finding the cuckoo, not heard them here yet, must have passed us by on the way to your place.

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    1. Randy, We really had a lot of rain in such a short time. Glad to see all the roots around the lilies.
      I was happy to see the cuckoo, kept hearing him.

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  4. The yellow cuckoo is so great!

    Sorry for the damage by water and critters. I had voles take out 1/3 of my plants in the front deer resistant meadow garden and 2/3 of my cottage garden coneflowers in winter 2010. I'm still trying to recover/replace.

    Have fun on the Fling!

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    1. Freda, I am going to put some rocks along the pathway where many of the tunnels were. Hope that helps. Missed you at the Fling.

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  5. Enjoy the fling...the voles love my echinacea...

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    1. Donna@Gardens Eye View, voles are really a pain!

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  6. That's SO cool, Janet! I listened to the sound they make, and I think I've heard that here before. I'm going to keep my ears open, since the range shows they're here in the summer.

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    1. Kylee, thanks, I thought you might like it. If you have an iPhone, there is an app (of course!) with bird calls. I don't have one, but have seen it used, great help.

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  7. Just think of the mud hole you would be slogging around in if it were not for the slope of your land. Thanks for that link...another tool in IDing the birds that are too shy to show themselves.

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    1. Ricki, you are so right about slogging through mud if not for the hill. We used to live in that environ...we called it a swamp! I love bird watching.

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  8. I'm glad you were able to rescue so many plants. Have you thought of putting in a dry river bed to channel the water down hill naturally? Have fun at the Fling. I was really hoping to attend.

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    1. Tammy, I did rescue them, they were doing well when I got home from the Fling. Charleston is 2014...!!! Have thought about the dry river bed.

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  9. It was so nice finally meeting you tonight! That ran sure did do a lot of damage. The cuckoo is like too cool. I've never seen one and don't think I've ever even heard one.

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    1. Tina, same here!! Great meeting you as well. Aren't cuckoos neat? Last time I heard one was in Germany!

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  10. Great meeting you tonight, Janet. Looks like we are in for a fun time this Fling.

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    1. Donna, Super meeting you too. Are you as exhausted as I am? What a weekend!!

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  11. That was a true gulley washer! Hope things can be salvaged. If anyone can get it back together again, it's you! Enjoyed seeing the cuckoo ~ I've never seen one before! I've said before (and it's still true) you have a great variety of bird life there. That has to be so enjoyable.
    I cut my Walker's catmint back a few weeks ago because it had gotten so huge (and maybe I hadn't planned enough space for that?!!) so it's not blooming yet, but I agree, it's truly a great pollinator attractor.
    Enjoy the fling ~ someday I will make it to one. Would have loved to this year as the Biltmore is on my life list. Looking forward to your photos.

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    1. Kathleen, It has been salvaged, now to figure out how to keep it from happening again.
      We do have a wonderful array of birds. Love it here.
      So happy to have Walker's catmint, such a great plant.
      Missed you at the Fling.

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  12. What a shame all that work and the dirt just washed away. The good thing is once those plants get established they will stabilize the soil and eventually you won't need to worry about this happening. Amazing to see those tunnels, there's a whole world we don't even see under our feet!

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    1. Marguerite, it will come back....just more mulch hauling in the heat. ugh! It is amazing to think about all the activity under our feet.

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  13. Oh dear Janet it really did wash out. That has to be so disappointing and means a lot of replanting and filling in again. The foliage on that Coppertina is just gorgeous. Have a nice weekend.

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    1. Lona, yes, a lot of replanting, and some regrading. Hoping for a cool day. We are already in the high 80's and high humidity. Love my Coppertina, so happy I got it.

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  14. Maybe you will have to terrace, like a rice paddy.

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    1. Les, you are right, working around existing trees will make it tricky. I am thinking of semi-terraced areas.

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  15. That nepeta is a tough one...Weathers the gullywashers pretty well.....Its a pollinator magnet in my garden too...Love the cuckoo!....Hes a beauty...wish we had them in Maryland, never seen thm here.....Enjoy the garden fling.

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    1. Stephanie, Nepeta is a great plant...and deer resistant! Maybe you do have the cuckoos in Maryland....give a listen. thanks for visiting and the Fling was wonderful.

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  16. I did not realize you had so much damage! After your visit to the hilly gardens of Asheville, I bet you have some ideas on what to do with that hillside now. Gully washers are the norm in the south it seems. That is our only rain at times. We came back to only 1/3 in the gauge. Was hoping for more but we will take any we can get. Love the Cuckoo bird! I have never seen or heard one before! How neat…

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    1. Skeeter, Most of it is mulch and top soil...I see moving a lot of mulch and some stones in my future. I bet you have the Cuckoo in your area, give a listen!

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  17. What a shame to see such hard work destroyed. I know you will get out there and restore it perhaps even better than before.

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    1. NCmountainwoman, I hate when things get 'undone' as it just gets going. We will fix it!

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