One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Garden In the Rain

At the end of what was a somewhat rainy and not overly-sunny week, the heavens opened up and the skies poured down with rain last night.

At one point, Em indicated a need to go out and when I opened the back door, we listened to the steady rain and she looked out, and then up at me with a “hell no” all over her face and went back to the couch to wait it out. Eventually, we tried again and only when I agreed to go out first and get wet with her did she quickly tend to her business. Then towels all around.

This morning I woke early to the sound of a renewed downpour, stronger than the night before and coming in the windows now. I got up to shut them and snapped a few shots before climbing back into bed.
There are, after all, few comforts nicer than being in your warm bed with the sound of the rain outside, especially when a cosy kitty curls up against your legs.

But this was not the sort of rain that’s especially kind on gardens. There was a surplus, which tends to collect out front before soaking in…but a hard rain is also tough on delicate plants and causes everything to droop and bend and look pretty awful.

Okay, well, not necessarily awful…but besodden, bedraggled and forlorn, at the very least.

A morning rain does cancel the morning glories, who just sort of sag and droop without unfurling, their potential for brightening the day called on account of showers.

All the Queen Anne’s lace hung heavy with raindrops. There will be much deadheading when all these wet flowers have dried in the sun.

The coneflowers were hit especially hard, some of them falling down flat as their roots loosened in the soaking soil and were particularly sad looking.
Of course, the flood waters were at an all time high, as you can see. The boat shoes were more like U-boat shoes this a.m. Perhaps they will have dried out in a day or so.

But I knew the coneflowers would be fine if I got them support right away, so I waded in to rig some loops of twine off the fence to hold them upright.

Only one stem had broken off, and it’s good sometimes to have a reminder to bring some flowers inside. All too often I forget to do that.

Things looked a little better when I’d tended to that, though it would still be a little while before the rain tapered off to nothing and the excess began to soak in…which took a few hours more.

But as it was going, there were new surprises. This lavendar beebalm (monarda) has begun its serene display today…and not far from there I discovered a stalk that’s suddenly leaped out of a low rosette of leaves. I’d been watching it to see just what it was going to be, and it appears I’ll have some bellflowers/harebells to enjoy in a day or so.

And just a little further down from there, the first flower of the Stargazer oriental lily had sprung open in the rain.

So it’s not all bad.

The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
And drinks, and gapes for drink again.
The plants suck in the earth, and are
With constant drinking fresh and fair.
– Abraham Cowley


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