Flash Flood Fashion When my phone’s text alert woke me early in the morning last week, the first thing I noticed was the roar of driving rain battering my roof. Oh, I sleep so well when it rains. There is something so soothing and cozy about the sound of the rain….and then there was that little tinkling alert from my phone.
I rolled over and groped though a pile of reading glasses on my nightstand for a pair with appropriate magnification, and examined my phone. There was a large scary red triangle staring back at me with the words “FLASH FLOOD ALERT IN YOUR AREA.” I had never received a message like this before. This was a warning for ME, on MY phone, flash flood alert in MY HOUSE. This seemed like a bad thing.
With visions of the apocalypse bearing down, I leapt out of bed onto a large, unsuspecting dog, ending up in a heap on the carpet next to where he had been lying. While he licked the surprised look off my face, I listened to the rain on my roof, which now sounded like the beating of Sioux drums telling me that Custer was on his way.
I stumbled to my closet and hastily got dressed. Catastrophic circumstances have never been a good thing for my personal fashion presence, historically speaking.
I sprinted outside wearing a baseball cap under the hood of my rain jacket, which I was wearing over my robe, which partially covered my pajamas, which were tucked into my black rubber muck boots. The only thing I was missing was a black rectangle over my eyes, and a big “DON’T” stamped across my outfit.
My garden was covered in leaves and fallen branches and water. Half my plants were sitting in big puddles of water, while the other half were being swept away, floating down the street in torrents of runoff. I started to run towards the garage to get something (anything) to help my plants survive: a shovel, a rake, a bag of sand???
Instead, I decided on a cup of coffee. For heaven’s sake, they’re plants. I was getting wet and cold, and my outfit was ugly. I went inside, sipped coffee, and organized my plan of attack, as follows:
Create ways to move water away from areas of the garden that have poor drainage. You do not want areas of long-standing water in your garden; this can be very bad for plants, and can lead to root rot.
Put down mulch to prevent weeds, and to help reduce soil erosion.
Overturn buckets, wheelbarrows, pot saucers or anything else that can contain rainwater. These are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
You can purchase plant covers to protect delicate plants from heavy rain, or create your own by constructing simple wood frames that can hold landscape cloth or plastic sheeting as sort of tent. The sheeting material is nailed or stapled to the framework to provide protection against heavy rain or hail.
Using hardy plant as barriers for delicate plants can help the shield them from heavy rain and wind as well. If a delicate plant is well suited as an understory tree, planting it under an evergreen tree will also help it survive stormy weather.
Don’t forget to store a cute bad weather outfit next to back door for future catastrophes.