Woodland Shade Gardening

Woodland shade gardening with a purpose – pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!

A Time To Rest

Sometimes, we just need to rest and enjoy our gardens, even from inside our homes while we gaze at our gardens through the windows. When, and how often, we garden is controlled by many factors. For those of us who love to be in our gardens every day, these controlling factors are quickly whittled to a very small number, but still include Mother Nature’s moods. There will always be the weather – too hot? too cold? too wet? And there are often appointments and obligations outside the home and gardens. Yes, we have to stop gardening long enough to go to the grocery store occasionally! And sleep a little during each 24-hour period!

Last week I created my own deadlines, day-to-day, to dig out some daylily beds that were overgrown. The forecast was for rain showers and thunderstorms each day throughout the whole week. Each day that passed with no rain created more time to accomplish this, so I kept digging. Yes, there were quite a lot of daylilies to remove. But these removals would leave very useful craters in the soil to hold the upcoming rainwater and nurture the remaining daylilies in the beds. Each day without rain I pushed myself to achieve more and more of the project, beginning to think I might complete this before the rains began. And I did complete most of it, and had time to add some soil amendments, and to topdress the newly open areas with a light layer of mulch. Not TOO MUCH mulch, because I want to see where the rainwater will sit and where it might flow out of the bed. The goal is for the bed to hold all rainwater that falls onto it during each rain.

We never received any rain last week. At one point I remember humorously thinking “if it doesn’t rain soon I will be physically exhausted”. This is not really true, because I pace myself to work at an age-appropriate speed, to consider outdoor temperature & humidity, to take some time to sit and talk to my little dogs, etc.

It seems incorrect to use the word ‘work’ when speaking of my gardening, because gardening provides me so much pleasure and serenity. It also provides me with dreams, and continually activates my imagination. But sometimes my gardening fervor distracts me from simply strolling and looking. Because of this, after heavy rains I like to tiptoe along the high ridges of the berms that keep me out of the swampy areas, and take a sincere look at my gardens.

This week, on Monday afternoon, and again during the night, we received a total of .9″ rain. This is enough to keep me from having to provide city water to my plants, when they really prefer rainwater. But this rain has also provided me with the joy of slowing my pace and looking at my gardens with the delight of a garden visitor, seeing through open eyes, and appreciating what I see. Seeing my dreams becoming reality.

Standing rainwater in my large detention pool at the back corner

Pocket Bed of ferns luxuriating in temporary bog conditions. Large rainwater retention area in background.

Standing rainwater, nourishing all plants around these detention pools

Wet and bog-like, but I can still walk along the high-ground areas.


Neighbor’s rainwater flows downhill into backside of this bed, so it stays moist easily.


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whiskey kittens

Woodland shade gardening with a purpose - pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!



Southern Wild

Garden & Home

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