Friday, 16 May 2014


It looks as though we're in for a spell of lovely weather with blue skies and warm sun, but over the last week we've had a mixed bag of heavy rain and sunny skies, with a lot of strong winds as well. One minute the sky was gunmetal grey under a heavy blanket of cloud.

And the next minute the clouds were blown away and the sun came out.

It really was a case of 'sunshine and showers', The winds were very testing for the new leaves on the trees and many have been blown off completely, but everything is growing so fast now, it's always a surprise and a pleasure to go into the garden and look at the new growth. And I always remind myself that the rain is responsible in great part for this.

I love to walk in the garden after rain at this time of year to look around. One of our bird baths is becoming hidden by foliage.

And a bird-feeder turned into a mini bird-bath 

The pebbles around the shed looked wonderfully shiny and colourful after rain.

Unfortunately the rain brings out these little creatures with all of their friends and relations, and they do love to feast on my seedlings!

However, raindrops catch most beautifully on the leaves of certain plants, such as aquilegia 

and lady's mantle

Raindrops and sparkling dew gather so perfectly in its leaves that in medieval times the water droplets were used by alchemists when trying to change base metals into gold, hence its Latin name of alchemilla. It was also believed that the dew had magical youth-preserving properties, which led women to wash their faces in it.

I also love the look of rain on slate. Our roof is tiled in slate and after it has rained it looks wonderfully shiny and dark. When he wrote his 'Poem in October' Dylan Thomas described this effect as he looks down on the town of Laugharne below him

'Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls' 

When I look at wet roofs I'm always reminded of these lines. Somehow I don't seem to mind the rain so much at this time of year. Maybe it's because I can see how it makes everything grow, or because I know that summer isn't far away. It makes me enjoy the sunshine when it comes too! x

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