I walk in the garden after rain to relish the sense of ease in the release from drought. The plants have all had enough to drink and the whole garden feels relaxed. The foliage of Hakonachloa had its sides curved upwards and looked narrow and strained; now, the leaves have flattened and the plant has regained its customary luxuriant appearance. Plants that had limp, dangling leaves look comfortable and turgid. Getting the feel of plants that are sated with water makes it easier to observe and detect those that are in dire need of a drink after a prolonged dry period. It helps to limit the amount that one needs to water them.
Admire the detail of water drops that remain on the foliage, the classic example being the tear-like pearls on Alchemilla mollis leaves. The potted Alstroemeria looks pretty as well since its flowers are unharmed by rain. The fronds of my new fern are delicately spangled with water whilst roses can just appear sodden. Are plants in party mode when they have drunk to excess? Do oak trees indulge in the occasional Cuban cigar? Are chocolates passed round the herbaceous borders? Do the mints indulge in peppermints?
That amazing book ‘What a Plant Knows’ by Daniel Chamovitz (eat a green salad before you read it, you may never want to touch vegetables again) indicates that plants don’t like being touched. A prelude to being eaten I suppose. When one wanders within the romance of fragrance, and squeezes leaves to release the aromatic scents the plants are probably screaming ‘Go Away! Carnivore!’.
Susan A. Tindall