The frequent coastal fogs in California keep the Giant Redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens, happy even during periods of minimal rainfall. These fogs occur daily during the summer months, condenses on the redwood foliage which subsequently drips onto the soil below, this is called water stripping. This process also benefits any plants growing below these giants, if trees are felled the understory can suffer from lack of water. They can also directly absorb some moisture from the air and evaporation is slowed down due to sun blocking. As these long-lived trees, they can reach 2,000 years old, can grow to well over 100m tall with a 7m diameter they need an awful lot of water to survive. Our garden this morning was engulfed in a good old Lorna Doone sea mist and whilst weeding in the spookily dry soil whilst my hair was attractively frizzing, I wondered how much our plants benefit from this moisture cloud. The hairy buds of this Pulsatilla vulgaris or the Pasque Flower captured the water droplets in a very fetching manner. It also crossed my mind that perhaps we could fit in a redwood somewhere.
Yesterday I met some walkers at the main gate. They asked me if what lies beyond was a cemetery. I am not sure quite how to take this but will endeavour to look a little less morbid in future.