Thank you, rain

by | Dec 12, 2013 | Uncategorized | 17 comments

I hope you like green. Because this is a very green post. 

After a dry spell, which had me anxious about how my seedlings were surviving out at the bach, the heavens opened and tipped bucket loads of water down from the skies, day after day. So when I arrived at the bach for the weekend, I found a happy garden, full of smiling little silver beet plants like this one,

spreading courgettes, already flowering and producing (also known as zucchini),

and clever runner beans, which knew how to find their way up the poles, even though I wasn’t there to guide them, twisting and turning as they reached for the sun.

And tomatoes – can you see them there in the bottom left, forming already? They love their companion plants, the marigolds, which are blooming everywhere. Deep in the soil I’ve sprinkled organic sheep pellets. This year, together with the sudden unleashing of abundant rain, the marigolds are twice the size of last year, and the tomatoes are forming weeks earlier.

Pumpkin seedlings are popping up in unexpected places, and I’ve been able to choose the best ones to leave, while pulling out the rest. This is a very companionable little cluster.

The New Zealand spinach from last year is finding a new lease of life. It’s said to induce a good night’s sleep.

And all around, as I weeded, I could hear the birds singing. They have returned from their winter journeys and were flying from one branch to the next, whooshing over my head as I worked. This little feather was found by my friends who stayed out at the bach the weekend before. I’ve never seen anything like it. Because it’s very fluffy, apart from the green tip, I’m thinking it must come from a young bird; maybe a shining cuckoo. But some of you may have other ideas.

Of course, rain falls on the just and unjust alike, as the bard said, and the weeds have been springing up thick and fast.
I got a bit carried away pulling out tough kikuyu grass and ended up with a cracked rib (yes, I whacked myself in the chest). So I’ve been quiet on the blogosphere, taking time out for some gentle nursing of an aching body. It’s nice to feel a bit better, enough to post again, and to celebrate my garden which is thriving, better than it has for some years. Thank you, rain!


  1. silkannthreades

    Oh my goodness, you cracked a rib! Not fun at all. I am hoping for rain tonight. The sky is deep with dark, very dark, rain clouds, so perhaps the garden will get the soaking it needs. Take care.

  2. Juliet Batten

    silkannthreades, you are welcome to have a turn with the rain. I’m taking things gently, thank you.

  3. Terry and Linda

    Oh, my heavens! You cracked a rib!!! I so know that pain as I snapped a rib (hair line) next to my breast bone awhile back…it sure is hard to breathe! TAKE care…it will all be there later.

    ¸.•*¨*•♪♫♫♪Merry Christmas ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

  4. Juliet Batten

    Linda, yes, it’s hard to breathe and as a result I’m exhausted. Thank you for the sympathy and encouragement. I hope to get to visit you soon.

  5. Penny O'Neill

    Oh, dear Juliet, I’m so sorry to hear of your pain. Cracked ribs are no fun, Who have thought weeding could bring such an injury about. While I haven’t been so harmed, Tom has, and I can certainly sympathize. Rest and heal and enjoy looking at all that lush green.

  6. Juliet Batten

    Penny, the grass was tough and high and my hand slipped and struck my chest with great momentum. I heard a clunk and knew I was in trouble. Thank you for your kind thoughts. I’ve just been resting again and reading that delightful book you recommended, ‘Evenings at Five’ — all in one sitting. So you have sent great comfort, both in your comment and the book recommendation, across the world. Thank you.

  7. Lynley

    What a bounty in your garden Juliet. But gardening can be hazardous and gnarly Kikuyu grass a mean foe.

    I hope that puffy cloud in your last photo is offering the softest arms to embrace you ever so very gently. It does rather look like a benign dinosaur.

    Rest and heal. Lynley

  8. Juliet Batten

    Lynley, what a comforting and kind comment. A benign dinosaur – yes I can see it now! Fluffy and puffy. I like the idea of being held by it. Thank you.

  9. Hotly Spiced

    I didn’t know you were having a dry spell. I thought you’d had a lot of rain! Yes, the grounds and produce are very green and green is the colour of everything living. It’s lovely to see so much growing in your part of the world xx

  10. Vicki Lane

    Yikes! So sorry about the rib! But what beautiful garden shots — they make me smile on this cold wet wintry day.

  11. Ruth P

    Oh Juliet, I hope your rib is healing gently and you can rest up. Perhaps you can encourage some rain to come south to Central as it is getting v dry in most parts of the garden. Very impressed with your zucchini and tomatoes, we are well behind you but blackcurrants and gooseberries are almost ready to harvest. Wishing you will in this coming week.

  12. Juliet Batten

    * Vicki, glad to send some green into your white and grey.

    * Ruth, nice to see you. I’m taking things slowly and the rib likes that. Blackcurrents and gooseberries remind me of my childhood: my dad grew them in our Taranaki garden. Hope some rain comes your way soon.

  13. Juliet Batten

    Charlie, yes it was dry here for a while and the ground got really hard. The greening is so welcome.

  14. Friko

    Of course, intellectually I understand. I KNOW that you’re in summer season.
    But it’s very hard to get my head round as I look out at the pitch black morning beyond my windows.

    You’ll have a nice crop of vegetables soon.

  15. Juliet Batten

    Friko, I know. The contrasts are so great at the moment between our two hemispheres. It’s a delight to see the vegetables growing so well. Am just about to put up an even more summery post.

  16. Penny O'Neill

    So pleased to read that you’ve enjoyed “Evenings at Five”, Juliet, and amazed at the force of your weeding and how much damage it did. I will think a bit more this summer about how I am pulling the weeds.

  17. Juliet Batten

    Penny, the book was a delight and arrived just at the right time. I will have to learn to weed more delicately.


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