Thursday, 3 June 2010

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A damp days gardening.

Today was thoroughly damp. There is simply no other word for it. When it wasn't going through the various degrees of constant drizzle it was so soaked into the plants that a mere knock against a bush would leave you drenched from a sudden shower, a few drops of which always manage to sneak down the back of your neck! What's more I thoroughly enjoyed it. After a few weeks of glorious sunny heat the gardens were beginning to look more than a little tired, and not just the gardens but the gardener too.

There's nothing like a comprehensive drenching of self and surroundings to really help refresh the mind and bring a new colour to the garden. There's nothing quite like drizzle for really soaking into every nook and cranny, it'll slowly but surely seep its way through numerous layers of clothing, fill your ears, gather in large droplets upon leaves before pouring off and turning the soil into a lovely happy medium perfect for moving and planting into.
It also seems to help wash away some of the cobwebs and dust that appear after prolonged time working through sunnier drier days, days when it's hard not to loose yourself in the beauty of the garden and nature around you.

When the rain comes down the best thing to do is get into your waterproofs, put your head down and start doing jobs that require maybe a little more focus than beautiful Spring days normally allow. With drips falling from your nose and the smell of damp soil wafting upwards, the background patter of raindrops drowning out any other sounds and your eyes looking down, it can feel like you're the only one in the world and this has a wonderful effect on the mind. With a smaller view of the world your internal viewing also shrinks till what you thought of as everyday issues are being seen from a completely different perspective. New ideas emerge, solutions occur to niggling problems.

On a gardening level too it's cleansing and creative, helping wash leaves of the dust and pollutants that have been gathering on them, soaking down deep into the soil carrying with it nutrients and dirt and helping trigger innumerable dormant seeds that in turn will grow and help add material to the compost and keep moisture in the soil with leaf shade. What's already growing will also be given a new boost, it never ceases to amaze me how much growth a lawn can put on after rain (as can the weeds).

In my own garden the water butts are now in a healthier state, the corner we're turning into a moss and fern patch has had a thorough soaking and the ferns are happily unfurling. The raised beds Anna and I have been painting will have to wait to dry out before we can do the next set, but the one we've already finished which is viewable from the kitchen window looks nicely weathered in. The sweetpeas are beginning to take over the hanging baskets and the other climbers have come into their own, the grapevine with it's twisting wooden branches, the clematis covered in small flowers and the rose dripping with scent. Spring is indeed a joyous time to be out in the garden.

Keep an eye out for an explosion of weeds after a days rain, any spare soil will quite quickly be colonised and bindweed can grow an inch a day if left unchecked. Get bedding plants in and consider future longer term planting you might be wanting to do.