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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.