Rainy Day Activities at May Dreams Gardens

I may have violated a basic tenet of gardening yesterday. The one about "pay attention to the weather forecast". Or maybe it was the one about "make hay while the sun shines, strike while the iron is hot, plant bulbs when there is a nice, sunny, dry day in November and it happens to fall on a Saturday".

Yes, that's the one, the tenet about getting your bulbs planted on a sunny Saturday in November.

I planted half of my bulbs yesterday, mostly the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths that I needed to actually dig holes for.

Then I got the bright idea that I would plant the 'drillers' tomorrow, which is now a rainy today.

'Drillers' are the smaller minor bulbs that I plant with a spade bit and my electric drill. It would have been a good idea to wait until today under normal circumstances because I did get some other chores done yesterday after I stopped digging. But then I violated the tenet about paying attention to the weather forecast. I knew it was going to rain "later this weekend" but I didn't check to find out when later really was.

Later turns out to be all morning today and in to the afternoon, which in and of itself is a good thing because we need rain. And it is nice for those bulbs I did plant yesterday. But it won't help the 'drillers' still in their bags in the garage. The picture above is the very wet front garden that I see from my porch, where I will plant most of these 'drillers', the smaller minor bulbs, once it clears up and the ground dries up a bit.

In the meantime, I'm thinking of rainy day gardening activities to keep my mind off the fact that I didn't get those minor bulbs planted yesterday. Here's what I've come up with so far.

1. Go to the store and buy a new house plant. I get all nostalgic for Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus when I see them in the stores this time of year. Even though I have several of these plants already and recently got some starts for an orange flowering one from someone at work, I want more. I don't know why I want more of them, they aren't even all that attractive when they aren't in bloom. I just know I do.

2. Even though you have dozens of clay pots and planters and containers, go buy a new one for a houseplant that needs a nice new container, like the orange flowering Christmas cactus that I just rooted. Some women buy more clothes than they'll ever wear or more fabric than they will ever sew, I buy more flower pots than I'll ever put plants in, and I'm not the only gardener who does this. But knowing this doesn't stop me if I see a flower pot I really like. You just never know when you'll find the perfect plant for it.

3. Sharpen your pruners. They probably need it by now after an entire season of use. Plus any additional fall clean up that you still need to do will be that much easier to do with sharp pruners. I had a moment of panic yesterday when I couldn't find my Felco pruners. I thought maybe I had left them outside all week. But I did find them, and now I feel like I should treat them a little better than I did before, laying them down someplace like that where I couldn't readily find them.

4. Make a list of books that would be good reads for fellow gardeners who participate in the Garden Bloggers Book Club, even if you don't participate, and leave a comment or email me to let me know about your suggestions. You might even consider going offline to actually read a garden magazine or book for a nice change of pace. I still like to hold a book and turn the pages, dont' you?

5. Light candles to brighten the room you are in, sit quietly, and chant, "there is still time plant bulbs, there is still time to plant bulbs". Because there is still time to plant bulbs and the sun will shine again!

What else can a gardener do on a rainy day?


  1. carol - i seem to end up plant shopping on rainy days. i actually saw a really nice shrub today at HD for 7 dollars! do you think it's too late to plant shrubs?

  2. Hi Carol!
    I just love those rainy days when I can honker down and don't have to get anything done. Sometimes I get lots of stuff done, just because I don't feel like I have to. Rainy day favorites: LOTS of candles, a fire if it's cold, a good book and a pot of soup on the stove. If it's lightly raining, a walk in the garden to watch my grateful plants soaking it in and smelling the moist earth!!! Makes me want it right now! Have a wonderful week! Chris

  3. I'm sorry the rain caught you by surprise, Carol. Hopefully we'll have a few more warmer days to finish those outside projects. The rain and wind are really knocking those leaves to the ground today, if any of them are still left in my yard, I'll soon have to rake.

  4. I too like the Christmas cactus. I usually have one going. If I lose one I end up getting another. The kalanchoes are another I can't resist those bright little blooms that they force during winter and show up in the stores.

    I have also misplaced my pruners and had heart palpatations wondering where in the world I left them.

    On rainy days that I don't have chores inside to do I like to look at garden books I have had for a long time. Sit and think about new flower beds to create. Look at my old garden journals and see what the weather was on this rainy date a few years back.

    Unlike me you will get your bulbs planted. I hope you just enjoy this rainy day thinking about how happy your plants are.

  5. Yes, sharpen those Felcos. I was cutting down peonies today and my Felcos were having trouble with the stringy, tough peony stems. I had originally planned on cutting them down tomorrow, but I saw it was going to rain tomorrow and decided I'd better do it today. We had a dusting of snow on Saturday and my gardening days are definitely numbered.

  6. Good ideas, Carol. We managed to get bulbs into the ground today--although not all of them. My lower back injury is slowing me down significantly. I'm afaid the bulb planting wasn't the absolute BEST as a result. Oh well. I will take my help where I can get it. Although, the guys' idea to throw the bulbs into the field with a military song did make me put my foot down, although it hurt.

    --Robin (Bumblebee)

  7. I hope you have a few better weather days to get those bulbs out there! I don't both raking leaves at our place, but I won't be seeing the ground again until spring anyhow! I find it hilarious that our nearest Walmart is still selling dahlia tubers and bulbs. I suppose you could make patterns on the snow with them.

  8. Oh No, It's mid-November and I haven't planted any bulbs. I haven't even bought any bulbs.
    You are doing great and I think you should buy as many Christmas cactuses and new pots as you want.

  9. Carol: I'm waiting for Indian summer to plant the rest of the bulbs! I hope we actually get one! Optimism is the best quality of a gardener! Now, I am going to light a candle and read..well, maybe later this evening!

  10. Carol,

    There IS time to plant more bulbs. I've never heard of drillers.

    Your collection of pots made me laugh! I agree, similarly, that you can never have too many bird feeders!

    Speaking of bulbs, when my DH and I were very young and had our first garden, we ordered 365 bulbs from one of those Holland bulb magazines. It was a big day late October - spending all of it outdoors, digging. Neither of us knew about bulbs and playing the "growing end up". Ooops. We got a few tulips out of it and that's about it. :o/

  11. I did the same thing with the garlic that I ordered. I planned on planting it on Sunday, but we got about an inch of rain, so that took care of that idea. Oh well, there is always next weekend, it looks like this nice weather is supposed to hold until then.

  12. I'd planned to plant garlic the other day when the same thing happened to me!

    One of my favorite things to do when it's raining is to take pictures in the garden. It's a different world out there - a lot of critters come out that I don't normally see. Light rains, of course, or just after it has rained! I just posted my rain photos, actually!

    My blog has been up for just over 2 months now (I did a lot of backposting to cover our story back to May when we started the garden). On Oct 15th I was out of town, so I've been waiting forever for Nov 15th - it will be my first posting of GBBD! Certainly not the prettiest time of the year for blooms, but I think there's a couple things out there!

  13. I know you'll get those bulbs planted eventually, Carol, no sweat. What do I do on a rainy day? Read. Oh, I do that on sunny days too, only outside and looking at the garden.

  14. Gina... I think it is getting a little late around here to plant shrubs, but for $7, I might give it a try.

    Gardenmomma(Chris)...Soup would have been good yesterday!

    Robin's Nesting Place... This next weekend should be nice, a little cool, but dry enough to plant some bulbs. I also want to mow my grass one more time.

    Lisa at Greenbow... I did manage to relax a bit and not worry about the bulbs. There will still be some good days before winter really sets in.

    Kathy... I will sharpen those Felcos before next weekend! All of our gardening days are numbered!

    Robin(Bumblebee)... I'm sorry to hear you are 'down in the back'. That's no good!

    Gardenista... I've seen your pictures, and don't know how you manage to get by until spring with all of that snow. Walmart... not too bright to still try to sell dahlias!

    Chigiy at Gardeners' Anonymous... You'd be quite the neighbor, enabling me to where I'd run out of room for all the pots and plants!

    Layanee... Indian summer, that would be real nice. I hope that wasn't what we had on Saturday!

    Mary...Ummmm, I made up that term drillers. I can just imagine how many bird feeders you have...

    Vonlafin... but we have to admit it was nice to get the rain. And it rained some more this evening (Monday).

    Melinda... Welcome and I look forward to your first post for GBBD.

    LostRoses... I hope you are reading (re-reading) the current selection for the Garden Bloggers' Book Club.

    Thanks all for the comments and rainy day support.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  15. It's raining here too and what am I doing? I'm painting 79, 5 meter long planks, oh joy! I'd rather plant bulbs in the rain. ;-)


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