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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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?