Just Because It’s Raining…

Yes, nothing really tells you it’s autumn as clearly as a wet and dreary day. You are then left in no doubt that the weather has changed. There is that perfectly dull and miserable sky outside the window – well, what I can see of it through the rain running down the windowpane. The Head Gardener has just declared that she really should “get myself moving” and I asked what she had in mind – “I could do the ironing, get dressed, go for a spin” and the, perhaps, longer list was interrupted by my laughter.

Oh, it’s one of those miserable days when we certainly won’t be doing any gardening; a walk is out of the question given how heavy the rain is and how blustery the wind. Indoor bits and pieces have been dealt with – the daily household chores, the online ordering of the weekly groceries and an online check-off of the last month’s items in the bank account. All is ship-shape and Bristol fashion! So, what to do now?

Yesterday afternoon and you can see the beginnings of the poor weather with a light mist falling giving a hazy effect to the land at the other side of the river. It continued damping all last evening and overnight leading to heavier rain today.
A brighter picture of autumn: the seedpods and emerging seeds of Euonymus planipes

I like to dawdle each day over a few pages of Brendan Sayer’s and Susan Sex’s Wild Orchids of Ireland for Brendan’s outstanding text and Susan’s beautiful illustrations. The first educates the mind and the latter nourishes my soul. There is the “news across the universe”, as we call it, an online perusal of the various online news sites, and then a drop in to Instagram and Twitter, both forums I really haven’t come to grips with and they doesn’t seem to have the same level of communication as Facebook, my original online social media site. Email acknowledges the various orders I have placed and if they have been dispatched and also tells me if there is post in the postbox at the front gate – it really would be terrible to walk down on a day such as today only to find the box empty. But, generally, too long on any of these sites is a journey to the dark night of the soul and best avoided. WordPress can regularly be a pleasant visit. Geoff, The Biking Gardener, may have an update from his Co. Wexford garden and I read his column in The Sunday Times also. Neal, Yeah, Another Blogger, had an update this morning on the artful designs on delivery trucks in Philadelphia and, of course, there is the regular flow of gardening blogs. Bob, The Miserable Gardener, always brightens the day while Julian, The Garden Impressionists, in Carmarthenshire always has an interesting read and excellent photographs. Abbie Jury, Tikorangi, the Jury Garden , writing from New Zealand is always interesting – she is such an experienced gardener and also an excellent writer. There are others, many others, such as gardeners from around the world who contribute to a Six on Saturday theme.

INTERRUPTION: Please pass a few moments with these suitably dark photographs taken yesterday in the garden. I’ll return shortly with an explanation.

The Explanation: There was a slight scuffle in the kitchen – which lead to the interruption. There was a beep from the dishwasher, indicating that it had completed its cycle and the crockery was dry, and this precipitated a boisterous dash to claim ownership of the “emptying the dishwasher” privilege. This is what happens on days like today, there is competition to claim ownership of anything which passes the time. The dishwasher situation resembled the behaviour seen in the dash to a plantsales table at a garden club meeting. Nobody wishes to be too obviously rough nor rude but elbows are delployed in a strategic fashion so as to force anybody intent on passing by to be physical and as that would be so unacceptable it is sufficient to defend one’s position. The “conflict” didn’t develop to such intense agression and an agreement was reached before the hot air was released from the dishwasher – the Head Gardener declared she would do the ironing and I the dishwasher. I was surprised as she doesn’t enjoy ironing while I’m perfectly comfortable with it and I expect she saw I was engrossed with this scribbling and reckoned it was the best arrangement to leave me occupied as it kept me quiet and less of a bother!

The morning has passed, lunchtime beckons and I am dashing off to claim rights to lunch preparations – anything to pass the time on a day such as today!

Colchicums are most certainly the flower of the moment in the garden and here are a few photoraphed yesterday:

However, colchicums will shortly be replaced by snowdrops as the first of the year has opened here – Galanthus reginae olgae ‘Rachel Mahaffy’:

Galanthus reginae olgae ‘Rachel Mahaffy’

And, this afternoon? Well, I could pass a bag of coffee beans through the grinder but must really return to a book which was set aside in favour of several rediscovered favourites when I cleaned out a book press recently. Xa Tollemache’s A Garden Well Placed will pass the afternoon very pleasantly, I think.

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