It’s been pouring for weeks. Siling down, to use the vernacular. I don’t know whether this is to test my flood defences, or to point up the lack of gopher wood in these parts. This garden isn’t big enough to fit in an ark for two of anything larger than insects and earthworms. If I go out with a pail to start a collection, I shall be drowning, not waving. I spend my days with my face pressed to the window, with the expression of a puppy who piddled in the wrong place and has been roundly chastised.
I’m getting tired of the lowering skies motif. I must admit to mounting hysteria as the levels rise in the gutters and drains. The Dahlias have been cut back by the first frost but I can’t persuade Attila to help with digging them up when the unremitting precipitation has turned the lawn into a quagmire. He can’t be fooled by my gurgling optimism, since the path to the potting shed is pocked with puddles the size of Loch Ness. Soggy shoes do not encourage a fair weather gardener like my otherwise willing spouse. We have made a deal that I will not lard the bed with horse manure until after the tender plants have been evicted to the garage. The wild eyed gentleman who fulfils all of my dung requisites will be calling any time soon. All of the gardeners hereabouts welcome his odoriferous appearance but no-one wants to get so close as to pin him down to a date. I’m caught between a rock and a hard, stinky place. I need a few drizzle free days to wring out the soil enough to lure my assistant outdoors and to dry the tubers adequately, for winter storage.
Phormium (New Zealand flax) & Fatsia japonica (Japanese aralia)
I had cut back a lot of the perennials in milder conditions and the constant showers have promoted the new growth of next year’s leaves. Where it is visible beneath the churned mud and nascent rivers, the grass is bright and perky. When I can see through the curtains of mist, the fresh foliage glows greenly all through the borders. Seed pods and berries come into their kingdom in these conditions, with Malus sylvestris (crab apple) and umpteen species of Ilex (holly) glowing through the gloom with splashes of scarlet. I would cut a few branches to liven up my grey home but if I walk on the quivering earth, I fear sinking as if in quicksand.
North facing ferns & ivies
Look on the bright side. The festive season approaches and presents are required for friends and family. With no horticulture to fill my every waking thought as well as a few wet dreams, I can spend time and effort in buying appropriate gifts, carefully tailored to the needs of the recipient. I may saunter down the sparkling arcades of shops, making sympathetic choices which will be greeted with shrill cries of delight on unwrapping day. I shall exchange cheerful greetings with others on a similar mission, their cheeks pink with excitement and goodwill. I spring out of the front door to begin the expedition, to be met with a wall of water. Oh poop, it’s raining.