Did you all have a great long weekend (at least my U.S. readers who celebrated Memorial Day)? I love long weekends (well, who doesn't?) but my goodness, they are so exhausting.

Saturday was our big master gardeners' plant sale, so I took Friday off of work and spent nine hours helping set that up. Then it was back early Saturday morning for the actual sale. It went well, but it's always interesting to see what is purchased first. This year, anything edible was really hot. Our heirloom tomatoes (which we grow ourselves by renting out space in a nearby nursery's greenhouses) are always hot sellers, but this year people really wanted vegetables. The kale sold out in minutes. The gardeners we get shopping at the sale don't want to fuss with seeds. They want plants and they want them growing quickly. I can understand that feeling.

What didn't sell well was purely ornamental plants. I'm not sure if that's because the people who come to our sale (which, years ago, used to be strictly herbs) are focused on edibles, or if ornamental gardening in our area is fading from popularity.

Usually I get a lot of gardening done on Memorial Day weekend, and this year was no exception, although there is so much more to do. If I don't get onto weeding soon I will be in dire straights. I usually plant all my containers this weekend, but it's still a little cool outside and I'm really babying all the annuals I've purchased from nurseries and taking some time to properly harden them off. I did get the window box planted and I'll show you that later in the week. It was a bit of a departure for me in some ways and I'll be honest, I'm nervous about it.

The back/side yard project is progressing. I'm happy to tell you that I'm finished removing sod. Thank goodness. I completely forgot about using the mattock, which I actually purchased for the same reason some years ago. Once I brought that out, it went very quickly. I'll show you some of what I've been up to there later this week to.
The tree would be much prettier if that trailer weren't parked in our driveway. The garage roof is in the middle of being replaced and we told our contractor (and neighbor and friend) that he could park his trailer there while they are working on it. That's Limelight hydrangea budding out in the foreground.

But today I'm going to tell you about the world's most accurate rain predictor. It is my Serviceberry tree. Our tree—a gift from my mother-in-law about 11 years ago—has grown so much. It's obviously happy in its location. As far as flowering goes, the small white flowers take about a week to fully open. Once open, they will stay like that for up to a week, creating a gorgeous white cloud. But only if they stay dry. If they get wet, they droop and that's the beginning of the end.

So of course, it pretty much never fails that the day the flowers fully open will be soon followed by rain and once again it happened this year. When I woke up Monday morning I could see from the bedroom window that the Serviceberry was in full bloom.

So I did what any rational gardener would do and I ran out to take some pictures because I knew it could rain at any moment. I was able to enjoy the tree all day until the torrential downpour came at 5 p.m. and then was followed Tuesday morning by a deluge that had me jumping out of bed to rescue some seed trays I remembered I had left out on the patio.

The Serviceberry is a great tree and it offers something at almost every time of the year (OK, not so much in winter because it doesn't have interesting bark or anything). I'd love it more if those flowers didn't bring on the rain and stuck around a little longer, but I love it just the same. Floppy flowers and all.


  1. We killed a couple of serviceberries until we realized we planted them near a black walnut!

  2. Serviceberries and magnolias! They are both rain predictors. I swear every time the magnolia is in full bloom, we get rain. Even though the blooms last for a couple of weeks in ideal conditions (no rain or wind), we call it the 3 day tree!


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