Karen Alley has been working with Carolina Gardener Magazine off and on for 10 years, but reading and writing about wonderful gardens doesn't automatically make you a gardening expert! While a passion for gardening has been a part of her personality since childhood, she will vehemently profess to not knowing much when it comes to the ins and outs of designing and creating beautiful landscapes, yet the desire is definitely there. This blog will follow Karen's adventures as she continues landscaping a relatively new landscape and starts a vegetable garden in a beautiful raised bed built by her husband.

Recent Blog Posts

Aug 26
The Summer of Rain  

Jul 18
Outsmarting the Varmits  

Jun 27
Trial and Error  

Jun 13
Second Time’s the Charm   (2 comments)

May 02
Full of Hope  

Apr 19
A Fresh Start  

Feb 25
Fun with the Birds  

Jan 25
Weather Watching  




The Summer of Rain
by Karen Alley - posted 08/26/13

This summer, it seems like all anyone has talked about is the rain, and yes, I'm adding to it.

I can’t tell you for sure how much rain we’ve had because I don’t have a rain gauge. But I know that all over the Carolinas, it’s been a rainy summer, breaking records in some areas. Everyone has their stories about how the rain has affected their garden this year, and I have plenty of them. Our little creek has turned into a rushing river, the bean seeds rotted in the ground the first time I planted them, and the cucumbers are growing as big as my arm.

But that’s not why I had to add to the conversation about the rain with another blog on the topic. The thing that drove me to blog on the summer of rain is my cosmos. It’s got to be at least 6 feet tall, if not taller! Granted, I know cosmos gets tall, especially by late summer. But this is the first time I’ve ever seen it this tall, and I’ve planted those seeds for many a summer. Some of the blooms are so high I’m reaching up to cut them. I just can’t get over it.

The rainy summer has caused some problems. My kids would tell you they didn’t get to the pool as much as they would have liked. The zinnias, which have produced bountiful numbers of beautiful flowers, are not that easy on the eyes when you get up close and see the powdery mildew all over their leaves.


And my mums, well, they only reason I’m leaving the decaying brown stems up is because I’m hoping for a great show of yellow flowers in a couple of weeks.





But you won’t find me complaining. I’ve been cutting flowers to take to my grandmother for 6 weeks straight now, we’ve had more beans and cucumbers from our garden than ever before, and our front yard is finally a sea of green rather than a patchy brown eyesore. Granted, some of that green might be weeds, but I don’t care at this point. I know the rain has helped the grass that’s there grow some really strong roots, and it will only get better from here.









This week marks the first week of school, and the pool is now officially closed. My kids can swim their hearts out next summer. As for me, I’m glad to be heading into September with a lush green lawn and no worries about water restrictions.





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