Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Rainy Day and a Parisian Bell

Rain, what a welcome sight!

We just had a stretch of sunny, dry, and reasonably warm weather and now the rain has finally arrived to give the garden some needed drenching. I was so glad with the sunny and warm spell we have just had, with the weather in the UK being so unpredictable you can't help but be grateful and take advantage whenever stretches of fine weather arrives. For you can't be certain how long it will last for when rain and grey clouds take over that can last for days on end too. With that warm spell at least we were able to do loads of things that warranted dry and sunny weather. 
A sunny day with clear blue skies as the backdrop of this palm leaf, this photo summarises what it felt like the past few days, even weeks!

But to see so much rain here today is a definite welcome sight (and a rare occasion that I'm actually saying that!). The ground was starting to dry up already with having no rain for days and, with it being spring, lots of plants are needing the extra moisture to support their new growth.

With the arrival of rain comes a change of atmosphere and mood within the garden. The past few days it felt 'summer like' and we almost had a barbecue had if not we were too busy doing other things. We did have some Ice Cream the weekend before last whilst working outside, a very unusual activity for the time of the year. But feeling 'summer like' made me miss feeling 'spring like' a bit, with the latter I associate sunny days with a feeling of dampness and nip in the morning air. And today that feeling is restored and it was great to wander down the garden after work whilst it was drizzling.

After days and days of tidying,  the garden is looking mostly spic and span again. And it's great to see so much growth coming up in the garden. And as I wandered down the garden today I caught glimpse of our little iron bell, a memento from a garden centre we visited in Paris, that is sometimes used to summon attention if either of us are working on the opposite side of the garden. I gave it a mental shake and thought 'Wakey wakey jungle, it's spring already and it's time to wake up!'.

Aralia elata 'Aureovariegata' 
Aesculus parviflora
A few weeks delayed compared to last year but it's great to finally see 'Cousin It' once again...

Syneilesis palmata
And will this flower this year? Probably not but I like it mainly for its foliage and is always one of the first ones to come up in our garden. 

Cardiocrinum giganteum
This one is now showing signs of creeping and crawling away, lovely!

Chrysosplenium macrophyllum
Several herbaceous perennials are already sprouting like these ones..

Tinantia pringlei
Persicaria virginiana var. filiformis
 Even the Zantedeschia in our small wildlife pond is already sprouting...

Zantedeschia aethiopica
The giants are waking up too, like these two...

Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex'
Rheum palmatum
These delicate foliage beauties however are wide awake already and looking fresh...

Arum italicum 'Marmoratum'
Daphne odora 'Rebecca'
The weather may have become more rainy now and slighty colder too (and snowy in the far northern parts of the country) but here at least daytime temperatures are still good enough to counteract the chill in the early mornings. We have been having frosts almost every other morning during the sunny spell and so far the plants that are sprouting have been unfazed by them so I'm not worried at all with the cooler temperatures we'll have in the next few days.

I love sunny days but rainy days has got its own special charm too. And I felt it was especially charming to see this afternoon at it helps the jungle wake up from its slumber. Exciting times ahead!

Mark :-)


  1. It's an exciting time of year, and a dangerous time to be a plant hoarder. Everything looks great, I think this mild winter did everyone a favor. Love the Syneilesis palmata emerging. Great walk around.

  2. It's a very exciting time and in your garden especially. I envy you your rain though. We were forecast some yesterday ... and at about three o'clock I definitely had three or four drops on my forehead! And that was it. It's going to be a long, dry, sizzling summer me-thinks! Dave

  3. Your Syneilesis looks like a hairy monster! The Rheum also looks a bit like something from Hades as it buds and swells....

  4. Hi Nat, I agree, it's a dangerous time to be a plant hoarder now that so many plants are starting to look good and more available in nurseries. Looking forward to doing some more plant shopping in the next few weeks :)

    Hi David, we had quite a lot of rain overnight which is good, but also surprised that you guys hardly had any! Perhaps in the next few days you'll get your fair share? I have the same gut feeling, it'll be a scorching summer this year...

    Clive, the hairy monster gets more interesting as it carries on emerging in the next few days right until the leaves spread out, quite fun to keep an eye on regularly! It's a great foliage plant. I had similar thoughts with the Rheum, it looks like a bubbling piece of something gooey...

  5. I love looking for new growth in the spring. It's so rewarding to see old favorites returning from their winter rest. In your garden it must be twice as exciting because you have so many unusual plants. The Syneilesis palmata is truly unique!

    I have a question for you: The new leaves on my Ginkgo biloba 'Majestic Butterflies' all appear to be solid green instead of variegated. On your variegated ginkgos, are the leaves initially green and then become variegated? Or are they variegated already as they emerge?

  6. Heavy rain here but also very cold even attempts at snow. I hope my beautiful tulips dont get bent too much with the wind. I like rainy days especially when its warm and the rain clears the air. I just dont like the cold

  7. Hi Gerhard, usually our variegated Ginkgos come out all green first before the variegation gradually appears. Some leaves have faint striping that gets stronger as they enlarge. In case the leaves don't variegate at all, don't be alarmed as variegated ginkgos are known to occasionally do that when it doesn't variegate on certain years but come back variegated the next year. Hopefully that's not the case and you'll see the striping soon.

    Hi Helen, it was also nippy here last night but fortunately no snow. A bit further north and west had some of the white stuff which melted quickly in the morning. Hopefully your tulips and other plants weren't affected by last night's weather. Not too keen on the cold either.

  8. You guys have so many different plants. Wow! do you have any rough idea how many?

  9. So glad you got some rain. It will be wonderful for the plants. I, too, have been thinking that it feels a bit too 'summer like' when I want spring to stay for a while longer. Love 'Cousin it'!

  10. Rain is good. They declared it officially summer a few weeks ago then it started raining for several days. Just like you, there are always mixed feelings about the weather and on my part it is usually plant related. I only like the rain because I don't need to water the plants and my rain water barrels get topped up. I can see your plants enjoyed the drenching so that makes all of you happy.

  11. I'm still waiting on some rain also. We did have some a week or so ago, but like you said with all the early growth, we need more right now. Didn't realize you also had that wild pond.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  12. Such a pleasure to stroll with you .

    I shall be back :)

  13. You must be pleased to have seen some of the wet stuff - the warm sunshine was blissful but it seemed to me that we leapt into spring much too quickly :) The bell is both attractive and most useful too I would imagine ~ an excellent idea.

  14. Hi KL, probably a few hundred if counted individually but we do have several repeat plantings of the same plants :)

    Holley, really enjoyed the warm and dry spell but it went to a point that we needed rain after all that so it the wet stuff was a welcome sight indeed. Cousin It is getting bigger!

    Hi Bom, at least we had a good drenching, some areas only had the cold and clouds but virtually no rain. Looks like sunny weather is set to return next week :)

    Cher, it's only a little pond mainly for wildlife but it does contain a couple of goldfish just to prevent mosquitoes breeding in it :)

    A pleasure Scotkat, feel free to join us again soon!

    Glad you like it Anna! Yes it did indeed feel like we leapt into late spring too quickly. Seems back to usual mode though!

  15. So many exciting plants! It took me forever to figure out what I was looking at in the picture of the Rheum, I kept thinking it looked like some sort of diseased birch log that went through a fire...oops!


Thank you for taking the time to reply to our post, we love reading comments and hearing your views.

Due to the increased level of spam, please note comments on older posts are moderated and only published after approval. All new comments are read and any spam is deleted.