Welsh poppy, Papaver cambrica, in the rain

Welsh poppy, Papaver cambrica, in the rain

Today it has been raining hard, for the first time in over a month. The sky is grey, the hills are obscured by cloud, and everything is wet. I am cocooned in my warm house, feeling cosy as I watch rivulets running down the windows.

I am intrigued at the various reactions I display to rain, even over the space of half an hour of watching it. There is my initial, slightly disappointed feeling of it’s cold and wet, the sun isn’t shining like it has so often recently. Then there is the enjoyment of all the greens in the garden, the awareness of the plants and the soil soaking up the wetness with relief and I realise again just how little they have had recently. Finally I watch the spray, hear the sound of raindrops, and think about how nice it was listening to rain in a tent or under a shelter, rather than from inside brick walls. A trip outside in the garden reminds me I rather like rain, it is only the attitudes of others colouring my views. Heavy rain can be exciting to watch, and provided I’m not going to be in cold wet clothes all day, even more exhilarating to be out in. Gentle rain brings me closer to nature. I feel part of things, alive, refreshed, cleansed.

I have a whole tray of lupin seedlings on my windowsill, to fill in the gaps in the flowerbeds where I have been weeding. I used to grow them, but they have gradually disappeared while untended as the spot was too shady. I may start a rain-plant area, as they look so stunning catching water droplets in their leaves. Other favourites for rain include alchemillas with their furry leaves turning water drops to quicksilver, and Dicentra spectabile with raindrops hanging from each flower. Bulbs like tulips just close their petals for protection, and then carry on as before. Peony leaves sparkle, although their flowers are less able to cope. But the unexpected star of the show is for me Solomon’s seal, its graceful, arching stems being as fluid as the water itself.