Greg’s morning shower (from a year ago).

In her recent column, Val mentioned the lack of water in the landscape while on her travels out West. Her comments, in combination with similar ones made by other cross country travelers /friends, moved me. A year ago, I was writing about my frustration with “too much rain”. The accompanying photos showed Greg dressed in foul-weather gear cutting back the many broken stems from water-logged blossoms. Needless to say, I was quite distressed and with great effort tried to find some humor. I like my summers sunny, slightly warm, sometimes hot, pleasantly breezy, and with enough rain to keep our plants and crops thriving, fill our lakes, and keep our wells well nourished. I realize this sounds a bit like the “Goldilocks” story, a beloved fairy tale which I recently discovered has been modified over time. But we live in the real world, where from day to day and week to week, our relationship to water is (mostly) beyond our control. At the time of Val’s writing, I was mesmerized by my backyard scenery blessed by moisture. With camera in hand, I saw my world glistening with rain and dew droplets reflecting the summer light. A photographer’s delight! I even contemplated purchasing a “mister”. So this year, I put Greg to work aiming the water from our garden hose over my beloved plants to create rainbows.

Now, a few weeks later, the world feels so dry. Recently, I did some digging to re-enact “plants on the move”. This is my yearly attempt to relocate plants to better locations. Even after a short, rather intense rain, the roots were discouragingly dry. Fortunately, I enjoy watering. It gives me time to slow down and observe what is growing all around me, while listening to the rustling leaves, birds, bees, chipmunks, wind, and garden bells. I make a mental list of what I wish to do in the garden: what needs moving, removing, replacing, or ignoring. Our well has a low-flow rate but is 600 feet deep, providing a good reserve. We are a small household, and I happily choose to use my water resources for the garden over most everything else.

Today, I wish for more rain—a good soaker, without frightening winds, tornado warnings, large hail, or the sound of falling trees. I am hoping for the “Goldilocks” amount to satisfy our needs. In the meantime, I will let the photos speak to the glory of raindrops in my garden.

Flies enjoying the raindrops on a delicate peony


Petals covered with dew on a Japanese Iris given to me by Susan Kingsbury


Raindrops caught in the “smoke” of a smokebush reflected in the morning light


Raindrops on a “pizzicato” oriental poppy


Raindrops on a white woodland peony



Raindrops reflecting a bright blue sky


The rainbow, artificially created….but fun none-the-less