Friday, July 24, 2009

What a weekend: torrential rain

We had torrential rains over the weekend: many separate waves of severe thunderstorms delivered 1.75 inches of rain on both Saturday and Sunday. These heavy rains came on top of almost 2 inches of rain earlier in the week.

Flood waters rushing down from the tree farm behind us

We had flooding, as we always do during heavy rain events. Fortunately, although torrents run through the low area of our property right around the house, the house itself sits on a hill, and we don't get flooding into the basement.

Looking down the hill from the house -
the garden hose is a bit redundant, don't you think?

The ground is saturated. Thankfully, the agricultural tile drainage system that my father advised us to put it when we bought this acreage worked its magic as usual. Our property dries out quickly after heavy rain and flooding. We are indebted to his foresight. It was the first thing he said we should do, and we had it installed in the first season - before laying out any lawn and garden areas.

The creek flooding its banks on Sunday afternoon

It has been difficult to get enough time between storms to cut the grass, which is growing gang-busters because of all the moisture and the cool temperatures we have had all month.

(I was going to write: "the cool temperatures we have enjoyed all month," but I know that most people have been complaining about the weather. After all the drought we have endured for almost a decade, I don't dare complain about this weather, even if it is excessive. Besides, John and I prefer cool weather to sweltering heat.)

The creek flooded up to the top of the bridge at the road

The only damage here: a lightning strike that fried our telephone line, and we are still without phone service 24 hours later. (On the bright side: at least the usual plague of telemarketers can't get through.) A couple of weeks ago, the electronic controls of our range hood were ruined in a thunderstorm, and that prompted a costly repair.

The bottom part of our east field on Saturday afternoon:
we had just as much flooding the next day

We were lucky to have so little damage. Sadly, in the city of Hamilton there is major flooding of many homes and cars that were swamped by sudden flood waters. A local expressway had to be closed because of heavy flooding, and we got caught in the resulting traffic jam while on the way to visit friends in Stoney Creek on Sunday evening.*

Flood waters creeping up toward our meadow on Sunday

Today is sunny and lovely, with a good wind to help dry things up, but more showers are in the forecast. Amazingly, this July hasn't been as wet as last July, but there are a few days left for it to catch up. The big problem over the past week and the weekend: there just wasn't enough time to dry out between storms.

*It turned out that Stoney Creek got almost 5 inches of rain on Sunday afternoon alone - on top of heavy rain in the days before, which had already saturated the soil. (That's more rain in one afternoon than the average precipation for the entire month of July.)

© Yvonne Cunnington, Country Gardener


  1. Tricia ( @YCSWID )6:47 AM

    I was wondering how your place handled all this rain. Glad that the worst of it was your phoneline. I feel very lucky to be dry and feel for those in the east end. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Weather just proves itself to be an ever changing beast Yvonne! Hope your luck holds out and you get your phone back soon...just without the TM's!

  3. Hi Yvonne
    I am glad that we didn't get that much rain - we didn't put in the agricultural tiles and everything would have been a mess.
    We had 90 people here for a party from 2 p.m. Saturday and after a couple of down pours we had sunshine from about 3:30 and till 1 a.m. Sunday.

  4. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Same thing here in Ottawa. Rains every day. Crazy. Lots of flooded basements (whole streets). Ours is dry so far. I wonder how this affects the plants? We have just moved to a new house and my just-planted perennials seem to be a couple of weeks behind bloom schedule. Not sure if this is due to the weather or the fact they are newly planted!

    Julia, ottawa

  5. Hi Julie in Ottawa: A summer like this certainly affects plants a good deal. As you've noticed, perennials are late in their bloom time. Being freshly planted would also hold them back, as new plants need to work on building their root systems first. Another issue tends to be fungal diseases. I'm seeing leaf blotch and mildew on peonies and black spot on lots of other plant leaves. There's not much you can do about it, other than to carefully prune out and discard the affected leaves. You don't want them in your compost because the fungus could spread back into your garden soil that way.


Thanks so much for visiting this site. I have a new country garden blog and I will no longer be publishing comments at this blog. If you have a question or comment about the topic here, please use the contact form at my new blog to get in touch with me.

-Yvonne, aka Country Gardener