When It Rains

After deluges of rain on Saturday morning, when water running off the fields turned our country lanes into rivers, and the weight of one of our soggy hanging baskets proved too much for the screws holding the newly fixed bracket up, it’s been a welcome return to sunshine for the past few days, with only a handful of light showers.

Fallen hanging basket, returned to upright position

During the worst deluges of the weekend, I turned my attention to my sewing machine once more, this time armed with a piece of sturdy foam, some oilcloth and a zip, and made us a kneeling pad, at King of the Hill’s request. He soon took it down to the greenhouse to weed beneath the potting bench, and declared it a success.

Handmade kneeling pad for garden

A wet day is also a fine excuse for baking, and what could be better to keep the blues away but a slice of homemade spiced fruit loaf and a cup of tea?

Buttered slice of homemade spiced fruit bread

Home made spiced fruit loaf

I love the first walk down the garden after the rain has stopped; the rich scent of warm wet earth rising up, and the transformations worked upon the plants with a sprinkling of glistening raindrops.

Raindrops on favourite deep purple poppy flower

Raindrops on pink frilly opium poppy flower

Not just on petals; the wonder of raindrops on the flat leaves of Alchemilla mollis and nasturtiums never wanes, and the succulent foliage of the sedums seems to gather raindrops into large single balloons of water that look ready to burst. The flowerheads of ornamental grasses are transformed, particularly this Agrostis nebulosa, which has otherwise been rather a disappointment.

Raindrops on Agrostis nebulosa

I have grown this annual grass for the first time this year, seduced by images of perfect domes of airy flowers living up to their name, ‘Fibreoptics’, but so far our plants are small with narrow tufts of straw-coloured flowers that almost appear to be dead. Perhaps it is too early for them to look their best, or their roots were too constrained before I managed to plant them out, what with the tumultuous events here this spring, but a sprinkling of raindrops enlivens them immensely.

While these wet summer days keep us productive in the house when we’re not at work, I still long for days spent toiling in the garden beneath the hot sun, with the soil underfoot firm and dry, rather than our snatched opportunities to wade through the mud, harvesting and weeding in fits and starts.

10 thoughts on “When It Rains

  1. You’re just trying to make me envious, aren’t you? It isn’t the wet that keeps me from the garden but the searing heat and this week, unusually, humidity! Early morning and late evening are garden times now. Christina

    • Ah, for just one of your searing hot days (and not when stuck indoors working)… We have been ‘lucky’ to have a run of mostly dry days since the weekend, and bouts of sunshine, but the temperatures are still pretty low for this time of year, and the ground is so wet.

  2. Sadly “snatched opportunities to wade through the mud, harvesting and weeding in fits and starts” describes this summer perfectly! 😦

    I grew the fiber optics grass last year and loved it, this year however, it would appear to be 3 inches high with no optics … yet, perhaps it does need some heat!

  3. Oh sorry to see the hanging basket has succumbed to the weather. I agree the garden is lovely after a rain shower and the sun comes out, everything looks refreshed and sparkly. I’d just like a bit more sun though. Spent the week gardening between showers and heavier spells of rain and now when it’s dry I’m away for a few days visiting family. All I can think about is all the jobs that need doing and I’m not there to do them!!

    • It was a bit of a surprise for us – my husband said he should have been able to swing off that bracket. Alas the screws snapped in half, now we need to dig them out of the wall before we can rehang it with stronger screws. I rescued what plants I could, and have some spares still, so hopefully in a few weeks you’d never know!
      We’ve been lucky a little further west than you with a stretch of mostly dry days, this afternoon is the first real soaking we’ve had since the weekend. Could certainly do with more sun though.
      Hope you enjoy your trip away and the tasks that build up in the garden aren’t too overwhelming.

  4. I’ve almost forgotten what a proper English summer day is like. I long for the opportunity to sit outside in the garden in the evening when I get home from work, and enjoy a glass of cool wine before dinner. We have done that in nearly two years now. 😦

    • Crumbs, that would be lovely wouldn’t it? I just can’t imagine that happening at the minute. Our barbecue is sitting sullenly too, with just one use so far this summer, and that was a month or more ago.

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