Woodland shade gardening with a purpose – pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!
We were experiencing a sweltering afternoon in late summer of 2014, following a few weeks of very dry heat. On that particular day, the dark clouds had been rolling across the sky all day, but offering no rain. We kept waiting for the rain, checking the weather radar often, in hope. Suddenly the rain god blessed us with pouring rain. Really POURING rain. Buckets full, pounding down onto the earth. The water level in the creek at the back edge of our property rose several feet above its usual trickle. The downpour of rain went on for about an hour, flooding the systems of rainwater diversion trenches I had carefully planned and dug. It was a treat to see it all happening!
After the heaviest of the downpour subsided, I went outside to investigate. Steam was rising from the ground and the air was thick with moisture and mist. I found this adorable jewel-colored toad sitting underneath the foliage of a large hosta beside the patio. Maybe her home was in the creek bank, below the level of the rushing storm waters, and she had to abandon her home for higher ground. The protection of the hosta leaves were perfect for her predicament. She sat in this exact place for at least 45 minutes after the rains ended, as if she was perfectly happy in her little cabana area. Carl suggested we call her Eva Perón, who used her position as The First Lady of Argentina to fight for women’s suffrage, also known as women’s rights.
Days later, while sitting on the patio pondering a name for this shady bed beside the patio, Carl said there was no question in his mind – it should be called the Eva Perón Bed. I immediately, and excitedly, embraced the bed name.
Eva Perón hasn’t let me see her again since that day, but she is probably nearby, maybe having toad children to live in my woodland gardens. Toads are nocturnal, so Eva is probably out and about the gardens eating delicious insects while I am sleeping each night. Maybe I will see the delightful, bejeweled Eva this summer during a rainstorm. I look forward to it.
Woodland shade gardening with a purpose - pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!
THE JOY OF GARDENING IN THE SHADOWS
Garden & Home