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In spite of my fears, we were incredibly lucky and the rain did not pass us by! Although it has just stopped, it came and I’m thankful.

Every gardener (except maybe in gardens like Inverewe, in Scotland, where it rains 1.5 days out of 3) loves rain. I love it because it reminds me of that exceptional feeling of being ‘saved’ from double digging or wheeling barrels of manure when I worked as a professional gardener.

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This is not something that we would share with someone else – except if it was your partner – it’s not ‘cool’, in that world, to allow any doubt that physical work is anything other than ideal. If you let the doubt creep, the blues creep in too. But we all knew by each other’s cheerful faces as we filed into our messroom or shed.

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Whenever it was raining (or snowing) we had the luxury of joining the more civilised world indoors where everyone’s clothing was not covered in mud from head to toe.

For a brief time our backs and arms would stop aching and we were free to calmly pot and top-dress amazing plants, with the leisure to properly admire as we worked. Or we cleaned seed and chatted away sorting out the world … nice memories of rain on a glasshouse roof and the knowledge that the soil was going to be too wet to work, at least for the day.

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Chamaerops humilis on the balcony

I love the way the colours of plants glow when it rains so that you want to rush and get the camera or to paint them.

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Self-sown seedlings of Nicotiana ‘Perfume Mixed’ on the balcony

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Lycianthes rantonnetii on the balcony

The way that the sun stops scorching the earth that you’ve worked so hard to make a good home for your plants. And the way that the plants themselves seem to almost be reaching up for the gift (spot of anthropomorphism here!). They never look like that when you turn the hosepipe on …

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The things I don’t love about rain are, on balance, much less important. The knowledge that all of that seed I was ‘just about’ to collect is now soaking wet. The picture of the downpipe that I broke when pruning pouring its contents down an old stone wall I’m trying to caretake.

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Most of all I just think – aren’t I lucky to live in a part of the world which is still green, proof positive that (at least for a few years to come) rain will always arrive in the end?

If you feel like it, I’d like to know what rain makes you think of?

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10 thoughts on “Rain!

  1. rusty duck

    I usually love rain for about two days and then I’ve had enough of it! We are ‘blessed’ with our fair share down here in Devon. But for that first couple of days it’s bliss not to have to drag the hosepipe or watering cans around.
    No doubt the residents of the Carolinas will have a different view of rain after this weekend. I hope, for their sakes, it is less severe than forecast.
    That top photo is gorgeous.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Ah yes – the poor old Carolinas. When I was watching the news last night and thinking about them, I did think back to my post as well.

  2. Su Leslie

    I like rain; always have. One of my pet peeves is how TV weather presenters here (NZ) talk about rain as though it’s a bad thing for all but the farmers. It used to be quite subtle, but there is a growing tendency to use really negative language when talking about rain. It (amongst other things) has totally turned me off TV weather forecasts.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Touché! Weather presenters the world over seem to have the same problem! But if you can really enjoy the rain, the sun coming out is even more pleasurable. Just like winter makes you relish spring (although, actually, I love winter too!)

  3. janesmudgeegarden

    I am so happy when it rains because we never really get enough of it. On rainy days my attention is fixed to the outside world, as I watch the rain fall. I cannot take my eyes off it. My garden looks so much better as water from the sky is much more nourishing than tap water. The only downside is that because we have such terrible clay soil the ground very quickly becomes boggy, and we’ve had to put in raised beds by carting in top soil.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Yes – you are right, Jane. Snap! Same problems. We should share our methods for overcoming them! Apart from the raised beds that is – everything slopes sharply downwards here, so it dries out quite quickly.

  4. Christina

    Rain, when it happens is always torrential here, but never really lasts very long, so I’m always positive when it rains and appreciative how happy all the ‘drought tolerant’ plants are when it rains.

    1. Cathy Post author

      It’s kind of getting like that here as well Christina. We haven’t had ‘proper’ rain since about 8 June. It was not like that when we moved here.

  5. tonytomeo

    In our chaparral climate, the rain stops early in spring, and has yet to resume. It is normal for us. It is excellent when it returns! In my former neighborhood, in the rain shadow of the Santa Cruz Mountains, I got about a foot of rain annually. On this side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, we get about three or four times as much. Trona on the northern edge of San Bernardino County, gets about four inches of rain annually!


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