An Unexpected Downpour

The heatwave may have ended a good number of days ago but the dry weather hasn’t and the gardens are desparate for water. Digging down to plant some large shrubs the other day, there was no sign of moisture in the soil, nor earthworms for that matter, no matter how deep I dug. It is tedious to water with a hosepipe and, for some inexplicable reason, (perhaps it’s the chemicals in tap water), plants react so much better to a drop of rain.
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Today the skies were grey but, as none had been forecast, it came as a surprise when I thought I could smell rain in the air. And was that a distant roll of thunder or was it just wishful thinking? With no further warning, the heavens opened, the rain bouncing off the surface of the lane and the leaves of the plants. By the time I had reached my camera, it was already beginning to ease.
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They must have had more rain than us, further up the secret valley, for water continued to rush down the lane in its haste to reach the river. Just past the bend its route took a sharp right turn to tumble down the steep banks to enter the meanders – the ones that feature on the header of this blog – just above the road bridge.

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It’s a novelty to see puddles once again!
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I couldn’t resist catching these images of the herbs cloaked in moisture. The French Tarragon seems to be greedier than most and holds water all over the surface of its leaves. The bronze Fennel, however, holds its drops in a very much more refined way as befits such a graceful plant.
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Cotinus – this is the variety called ‘Grace’ – appeared splattered with rain, as if it had been flicked with paintbrushes. It held its drops in different sizes, some so large I wondered how they could remain in place and keep separate from the smaller sized ones alongside.
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The old fountain head of a cherub and dolphin sits at the top of a flight of steps leading to the garden, for many years no longer used for its original purpose. Did the rain bring a slight smile to its lips and was that a tear that rolled down its cheek to its chin as it recalled its real purpose in life?
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If above is the picture of innocence, what is this next one? A single raindrop on each barb transforms the fence but it can only partially disguise its wickededness. We are not that easily fooled …
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Thirty minutes after the rain stopped the secret valley was shrouded in mist as the cooled air reacted with the warm earth. A short battle for supremacy ensued but, along with a slash of blue sky came a winning dart of sunlight and the mist fell to the ground, disappearing as quickly as the rain.
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10 thoughts on “An Unexpected Downpour

  1. Johnson, lovely that you got some much needed rain and captured some beautiful scenery.We have had no rain since the end of June and will likely not see any until next month… normal for our dry summers. 35 C is forecast for the next 3-4 days, and although that will keep me indoors I'm excited for it may help our tomatoes which have basically done nothing because of a cold and rainy June.Have a splendid weekend.

  2. THanks to all of you for your comments. It is dry and overcast again this morning and,once again, no rain is forecast. Hopefully, there will be some as yesterday's shower didn't do a lot of good. It would be nice to have a week of soft, gentle rain that really got into the ground!I'm not sure, Di, how I would cope with a summer of 35C. We are getting more and more days (global warming?) where the temperature reaches 30C – anything above the mid twenties and I, let alone the plants, begin to wilt!Johnson

  3. Wasn't that rain just so welcome Johnson, looks set for more this week too, we really do need it for the garden I know, but like buses, you wait ages and then…How interesting that you should be posting about marshmallow as well, I do so agree with you about its lovely delicate flowers. Maybe I should try transplanting some of mine to the border as well. Oddly enough I've recently planted some Hemp Agrimony too for my wildflower area, an excellent bee plant that I'm intending to write about soon, are we great minds thinking alike…!

  4. I was pleased to see the rain, Kathy, and also the cooler temperatures. It has been drizzling most of today with some late, warm sunshine to dry off my wet clothese before finishing work.At last I can get on with gardening without feeling as if I shall keel over with heat exhaustion!By the way, Purple Loosestrife is also a border favourite of mine, although the colour can be sometimes hard to place. It grows wild in the secret valley too which is a real bonus.Johnson

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