Published by Alison Cram

Categorised in Health & Wellbeing

It’s been raining this week. Not light summer showers that send a sprinkling of raindrops to moisten the earth and revive the garden.

I’m talking RAIN. Cats and dogs. Stair-rods. Buckets. (“Dingin’ doon,” as we say in these parts). The gutters overflow and the surface water drain backs up.

These cloudbursts leave behind a trail of destruction in the flowerbeds – petals are knocked off and delicate stalks broken. Some of the lavender flowers, just about to flower and needing the sun to thrive, are already threatening to turn brown. The branches of the blackcurrant bushes, heavy with berries, are bent low.

When I venture out into the garden in between the showers, it’s to inspect the damage and make repairs. I put canes around some of the taller, delicate flowers and tie string around to keep them upright and protect the stalks. Fortunately, the garden is on a slope, so at least the water can run off and I don’t have large puddles or flooded areas to deal with. But I still fret over my flowers, though in truth there’s little I can do. Mother Nature is in charge, not me, so the flowers that venture into bloom will just have to take their chances.

The showers come on quickly so I stick to small jobs that can be finished quickly or abandoned easily. I deadhead the rhododendrons and pull up the worst of the weeds. The bigger pruning jobs, which would mean getting stuck into sodden foliage, will have to wait.

The outlook amongst my vegetables pots is mixed – the plants look generally healthy but wildlife has been helping itself wherever it can. My beetroot leaves have been reduced to one-inch stalks by a deer and our resident red squirrel has managed to get his nose through the strawberry netting just far enough to nibble at the edges of the succulent red berries.

Not all is lost, however. The climbing roses and my pot of sweet peas sit under the overhanging eaves outside the sunroom and this gives just enough shelter to protect them from the worst of the rain. Three sweet pea flowers are getting ready to bloom and the red rose is in full flower. It produces gorgeous blooms with deep red, velvety petals but that’s not its best feature, for its outstanding quality is the scent – a pungent rose perfume that beats any synthetic fragrance that a human can manufacture. You can keep your Chanel No. 5 – this is the real deal.

All in all, this week has been a lesson in enjoying the small moments in the garden when I can. Sitting on the garden bench with a cup of tea, smelling the roses while I’m out deadheading or savouring the unbeatable taste of a sweet strawberry just picked off the bush.

Even at its soggiest, the garden never fails me.

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