Oh the rain, the rain. It raineth every bloody day. Or so it feels. And I do remember, insufferable wise woman of the woods that I am, saying back in March that it had been too dry all winter, we were overdue rain.
Next time I feel moved to say such a thing, N has permission to throw a bucket of water on me, yelling "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?" a la Crowe in Gladiator, but damper.
I did manage to get up there once this week, for about an hour and a half. I finished edging one side of the top-long bed, carting the mass of grasses, roots, dandelions, sodding-bindweed, bramble roots and other assorted plants that have No Place there down to the compost heap (aka the place behind the pile of fallen elder that's holding back the Japanese knotweed - the knotweed that the council and the CRT are currently arguing over who's responsibility it is).
But, I mean, just look. Yes the grasses are beautiful and dance merrily in whatever meagre shaft of sunlight we're granted but it's So Bloody Long. Seriously. Knee high in places and the strimmer can't get through while it's this wet. Trust me on this. I have strimmed before in the rain, for a summer when I worked for my Dad and needed the cash: strimmers don't like doing it in the rain.
However, all this wet has meant that the soil is easier to turn, shake loose from roots and rake to a beautiful fine tilth, almostly exactly the consistency of a properly crumbled cookie. There is a strange satisfaction to be had from getting your soil to this state. As I rehung the rake in the shed, it was with a feeling of a job well done.
The anenomes have proved themselves to be the gift that keeps on giving this year. Red ones at home are surviving the deluges, and even this delicate little purple one has thrown out yet another bloom. In fact, the sloping space at the top of the plot is being furiously productive. Aquileiga, antirrhinum, a magnificent fennel, poppies, marigolds and nasturtiums are all throwing out buds.
But the undoubted stars of the sloping space are the Japanese Wineberries. They were here and spreading triffid-like all over the place when I took on the plot. Not entirely sure they were safely edible, I left them the first year. Last year I cut them right back in an attempt to tame them. This year, well...
There are 4 of these. Shall I make jam? Compote (runny jam)? Wine? Gin? Or just eat them, ripe from the branches, warm from the sun, watching the clouds scud overhead and listening to the birds.
Very possibly just that.
In other plot news, the beetroot have been planted out, the onions still aren't ripe (how long do these lazy things need??), the potatoes were showing leaves until I earthed them up again, the rhubarb has tiny adorable stalks and the raspberries are small but gamely producing leaves and little buds.
At home, French climbing beans, borlotti beans, chard, tomatoes, courgettes, lollo rosso, spinach and rocket are all waiting for the sun to claim dominance over the skies again. They are strong and healthy, clamouring to be OUT, but as more than one person has told me how their tomatoes have been smashed to a green pulp by hail and torrential rain, the seedlings will just have to wait.
Patience, I keep telling them. Patience, I tell myself as I stare at the rain, gripping a coffee mug too tightly for comfort. Patience, N tells me. Patience, rustles my plot neighbour's wisteria; a few years and everything here will be as magnificent as me.