The sound of the early traffic splashing along a wet road woke me. Now, looking through the kitchen window, I wonder if it’s still raining. I gaze out at the white sky, unsure if I need an umbrella for our morning walk.
Then I notice the base of our apple tree.
Because the creeping buttercup in our lawn is determined to invade this little bed of Primula Wanda, I keep a sharp edging along its border. Today it looks less like a wee ditch & more like a moat.
The moat is brimming. Last night’s deluge has filled the water table & it’s saturated right up to the surface. Roots must be swimming in wet! Are the worms drowning?
The Royal Horticultural Society says these primulas prefer moist but well-drained conditions. Fortunately, we live on a slope & the excess moisture in the soil will slowly drain away as the rain eases.
But this winter flooding is what makes conditions on the southern tip of Vancouver Island so different from most. We have a
Winter Wet & Summer Dry climate.
Of our 35 inches of annual rainfall, only 5 inches arrive in our prime growing season (May through September — 5 inches in 5 months!).
We get more than that in November alone (6 inches).
Our summers are dry & our winters are wet.
Who else gets the bulk of their moisture in winter?
- The Mediterranean basin
- Central Chile
- The western cape of South Africa
- Micro-climates on the southern edge of Australia
It makes sense that the Cyclamen & Tulips from the Mediterranean do well here. Likewise for Australia’s grevillea & Chile’s Monkey Puzzle trees, and my favourite South African import: Red Hot Pokers.
I don my rain gear & head outside. Who would have thought we’re so different from the Marine West Coast Climate of the rest of our Pacific Northwest? No worries, I can appreciate our own little niche in the world.