Icelandic Poppies in Search of a Little Rain

We put away all of our Christmas decorations this weekend and tossed the pretty tree decorating our lawn. Between the un-decorating and the frost damage from November, the garden is looking mighty bare.

Then this happened.

I potted a few plants in early fall, but kept forgetting to water them because, frankly it should be raining this time of year. (It’s not). I keep sweeping up the dirt the squirrels toss out of the planter, casting dirt on the steps. In spite of all that, nature persevered and produced two gorgeous Icelandic poppies. They’re a bright spot in my other wise dreary garden.

While parts of the country are suffering record low temps, we’ve had the opposite. Record-breaking warm days, preceded by a week of frost in late fall and now we’ve broken the record for driest year since the 1800’s.

How dry?

According to our local paper, the San Jose Mercury News:

Records are being broken all over the state, according to the National Weather Service. San Jose has only received 3.8 inches since January 2013, well short of its 14-inch average. Oakland is even drier — 3.39 inches this year, compared with its 22.8-inch average. The last time it was this dry in San Francisco was in 1917, with 9 inches. This year, the city has had less than 6 inches.

The state’s official rain year will end on June 30 and a good storm or two in January or February could bring back a touch of winter green.

I sure hope so. Perhaps I should wash the car, paint the house, and plan a picnic to see if Murphy’s Law kicks in and brings us an honest to goodness downpour.

Thanks so much for all the great Little Free Library love. The comments, shares and book offers made my heart sing. I have much more to share, and will do so later this week.

17 thoughts on “Icelandic Poppies in Search of a Little Rain

  1. The weather seems to be a perennial discussion on almost all the blogs I visit. There can be no doubt we are in the middle of a vast change! The last two days I have been living as I would in May or June – dark, wet, cold days of Winter! But Yay! for your brave and brightly popping Icelandic Poppies – they breed ’em tough up there 🙂


    • It’s alarming, isn’t it? I’m sorry to hear your weather is off the season’s norms as well. I was stunned to learn that even a 2 degree change in the ocean can have a huge impact on everything.

      Our one week of November frost (unheard of here) damaged the commercially huge citrus crops. They say that the oranges, once frozen, are dry. Drier oranges go straight to the juice market and fetch 1/10th the price. Fewer oranges to sell, fewer jobs for pickers, higher prices…and on and on.

      I hope the sun comes out for you soon, and conversely, how I hope it rains. None in the forecast for the next five days.

      Hurray for popping poppies, Pauline.


  2. I wake up feeling dried out; which could be for many reasons, but today I’ll blame the drought. I am unsure about watering what’s left of our lawn. With the farmers suffering due to drought, putting water on a lawn seems sinful.


    • I’m with you on the whole lawn thing. We’ve reduced the footprint of ours, but still have quite a bit. It’s not suited too our semi-arid climate at all.

      Mike really likes it, but now that the boys are older and not running on the grass like they once did, I would like to replace it with something more water-wise.


  3. You’re smart to reconsider a lawn. Even here, where we seem to get a lot of moisture, it takes a fair bit of watering to keep it lush and the weeds out. You’re yard is so gorgeous and smartly laid out with patios and walk ways and stone gardens though. You really don’t have too much lawn. I like your idea about Murphy’s Law….it’s almost always a sure bet…or wash windows…or not…yuk, I think I went too far on that one, HA.

    I’m glad to see your poppies managing the drought. That happy face would make every gardener or non-gardener smile. We’ve had another grey day which is so unusual for us. It’s starting to feel like Vancouver. They suffer thru months of grey winter sky.

    Hold on sweet Nirvana Garden….I see clouds in your future…they’re having a happy cry and it’s sprinkling all over your faces. mwaaaa!


    • Oh I sure hope so. We actually had a ‘trace’ amount this morning. I missed it of course; just enough to wet the pavement.

      Lawns are a pain. I used to mow, trim, pull weeds and then pay to have it aerated twice a year. Nick Timmermann now does that maintenance, but I still don’t like all that grass. It needs a lot of water (shallow roots) fertilizer, and upkeep.

      Baby steps.

      Thanks for all your kind words. I like the layout of both front and back yard. Maybe a native grass that doesn’t require so much water would be an option.

      The artificial turfs have improved as well and are great for people with dogs. I’m just not completely sold on the idea for myself. Lots to ponder.

      I’m sorry your days are grey. Darn it all. I’ll send some sun and you can send some snow which will be rain once it gets here, k?


  4. Hearing about how dry our year was last year had me reconsidering out little patch of lawn in the backyard….Do the kids really need it? It also had me reconsidering the size of our backyard garden. During our scorching summers, the garden requires almost a daily watering. I think we should all wash our cars and plan a picnic, just as you said. We can’t really have another year as dry as the last.


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