You Know You’re a Desert Dweller When….


โ€ฆ you rejoice when it rains!

rainy weather

It sounds crazy, I know, but it is absolutely true.   Our weather is usually sunny and beautiful the majority of the year.  Now don’t get me wrong, we do love our sunny days, but sometimes we yearn for something different.

rainy weather

This week we are in for wet and rainy weather.  Just the thought of a rainy day brings a smile to many desert dweller’s faces.  Winter rains are usually gentle, not like the torrential summer rains that we experience.

rainy weather

The desert ground drinks up the rain greedily and soon the desert will become covered in a sea of green grass.

rainy weather

Even as a child, growing up in Southern California, I loved rainy days.  Now, there are some who hate the rain, no matter what.  As for me, I choose to rejoice knowing that the sunny days that I also love will soon be back.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
32 replies
  1. Evelyn Howard
    Evelyn Howard says:

    What an amazing country the US is, with so much diversity. I just looked up google map to find yr location…

    ps nice photos with raindrops on plants – everything looks fresher and more alive with some rain.

  2. Grace Peterson
    Grace Peterson says:

    I live in the Pacific Northwest so it's either enjoy the rain or go insane. LOL Funny, I enjoy the rain but I'm insane anyway, oh well. Your flowers and foliage are beautiful. All the better when sprinkled with raindrops.

  3. James Missier
    James Missier says:

    When it rains all day at intervals for many weeks a little sun is greatly desired.
    But it doesn't rain more than 3 days, its so hot & dry that a drop rain is eagerly anticipated.

  4. fairegarden
    fairegarden says:

    Hi Noelle, hooray for your gentle rain! The plants look so clean and happy after their little shower. This is quite a system moving across the US, affecting nearly every single area. Interesting weather we are having. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Di
    Di says:

    Noelle, congratulations! We have spent some time in your desert and are aware of the fruit the rain brings. Now, could you send a bit northwest of you? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Luv that first first photo!

  6. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean! When I lived on wet, lush trinidad I had no appreciation for rainfall-here we are so happy when it rains for the plants and to fill the cisterns.

  7. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean! When I lived on wet, lush trinidad I had no appreciation for rainfall-here we are so happy when it rains for the plants and to fill the cisterns.

  8. Kiki
    Kiki says: happy it rained for you!! Enjoy!!And I totally get it though..when I was 7 years old I was visintg Italy for the first time..and it started raining..everyone ran out in the streets overjoyed..and I was thinking..what's goin on? ha ha! Funny to recall now! So I am happy it's raining for you!! Great post!

  9. The Violet Fern
    The Violet Fern says:

    I LOVE rain! It sounds crazy. Here, everything looks a deeper shade of green when it rains (in summer). When I lived in Colorado during a drought, I really missed the rain. Beautiful photos catching the rain drops!

  10. gardeningAngel
    gardeningAngel says:

    Congratulations on your rain! I can truly understand why you love it. The desert is a magical place, and it's so wonderful how the plants know how to make the most of every drop. Beautiful pictures as always! Kathy

  11. Amy
    Amy says:

    Pretty photos, Noelle! It is nice to have some variety in the weather. When we finally got rain this fall after such a drought… it seemed like a lot of people were just in a better mood. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. janie
    janie says:

    I do not complain about the rain, not even when we are so waterlogged that it feels like we are drowning through our skins. I always think about how the plants and animals suffer in drought. I can manage a bit of wet.

    I had a professor once who was from Arizona, and she would tell us stories about when it rained and everybody went outside to watch the rain. When she moved to Houston, she was amazed that grass was growing on vacant lots. She says grass only grows in the desert when it is cultivated, and watered!

    Very nice post Noelle. I love the pictures.

  13. Kate
    Kate says:

    I also know you're a desert dweller because you're one of the few blogs who is rejoicing over warm weather. The rest of us are shivering in a cold snap! Lovely photos, as usual, and congrats on that life-giving desert rain!

  14. jeansgarden
    jeansgarden says:

    What lovely photos. Two years ago, Sandra Day O'Connor was the commencement speaker at Gettysburg College, where I teach. It was not a great day for an outdoor commencement ceremony — cool temperatures and pouring rain. Parents sat huddled under their umbrellas, and I wondered how many students were suffering from hypothermia as they sat, soaked to the skin in their graduation robes. And then, as we all were feeling thoroughly miserable, Sandra Day O'Connor stood up to begin her talk. "I come from the desert," she said, "we're always happy to see rain." It was a charming moment.

  15. Jim Groble
    Jim Groble says:

    I'm happy for your rain. People at work tell me that "all you gardeners take pictures of plants when it rains." Yea, well we do, but don't plants and flowers look soo scool with rain drops on them. great pics and narrative.


  16. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    Even though it does rain here a lot in the winter, I find that in the summer if we have too many dry days in a row (like the past summer) I start hoping for rain. There is something refreshing about it. Your plants look very vibrant and pretty with the raindrops.

  17. says:

    Hello All,

    Thank you for your comments. I agree that there is just something about raindrops that make plants look fresher and prettier.

    On the opposite end of wishing for rain, we vacationed in Great Britain for 2 weeks and every day was cloudy and the last day we were there they sun came out and I was so happy to see it!

    Jean, Sandra Day O'Connor is a such a huge historical figure in Arizona. They have made a museum out of one of the early homes she lived in.

  18. Kanak Hagjer
    Kanak Hagjer says:

    I love your photos!! I can understand about winter rain and how wonderful it must be. It gets very dusty here in this season so some rain would be welcome:)

    Thank you for your comment on my header photo. Loved it!

  19. George Africa
    George Africa says:

    Hi Noelle;

    As the weather changes and the snow deepens here, I have to keep checking in with sites like yours to get some encouragement. The diversity of plant material to learn and try really is interesting. I encourage everyone to look away from their own geography and pick something new an unusual for 2010. Trying to push the zone often works!

    George Africa
    The Vermont Gardener

  20. Christine
    Christine says:

    Hooray for subtle seasons! I have come to enjoy and appreciate rain more now as a gardener. But it doesn't hurt to have a home office and not have to commute in it!

  21. LeSan
    LeSan says:

    One of my favorite smells in the world is rain in the desert. There simply is no comparison to it. I missed that very much when I move to the Northwest–where it rains quite a bit I might add. LOL The smell of rain in Arizona is the one thing that I miss the most.

  22. LeSan
    LeSan says:

    Silly me! I wrote a comment and then wasn't sure if I actually hit send or not. Sorry if this is a repeat.
    I just wanted to say how much I loved the smell of rain in the desert. There is that special moment just as the rain is hitting the hot sidewalks and asphalt that smells so wonderful. It is I think completely unique to Arizona/the valley. I think I miss that smell the most.

  23. Nell Jean
    Nell Jean says:

    People here who have asthma or arthritis long to move to Arizona where rain is a novelty and the air is dry. DH had an asthmatic cousin who went to U AZ. When he got there, he called back and said he would never come home again. He returned only for the funerals of his grandmother and his mother.

  24. Garden Hat
    Garden Hat says:

    Thanks for reading my blog via and for your welcome message. Yes, sometimes I stay so long in the garden I can hardly stand up at day's end.

    I enjoyed your blog too, wonderful pic of the Grand Canyon.

    About missing snow, I once knew a little boy who tried to pack snowballs into his suitcase on his way back to South Africa:)

    Lisa G.

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