Blessed rain

Summer night rain

Hostas

The rain started right before midnight, with a soft, somewhat tentative thunder announcing it from afar, almost as if it was asking itself whether or not it had the right time.

Borage

Borage

Borage flowers bead the garden like a sprinkling of blue stars. This medicinal plant has two things in common with the cucumbers. It tastes the same (really, I checked), and it dislikes dry conditions.

I listened to it for a while, reliving a memory. The sounds, the scents of rain, removed from sight, speak to the soul in the same way your favorite old sweater comforts you, without you even being aware of it, that sweater you can grab from the closet without looking.

I lingered for a moment before I let the footfalls of the rain sink into my consciousness, only half recognizing my old friend, the repository of memories.

Favorite sounds from childhood rapped their little fingers on the roof, softly and evenly, for hours, until all the noises subsided and the world eased into a peaceful slumber.

I don't know when the rain stopped, but it must have been quite close to dawn, because the hosta flowers were still heavy with raindrops in the morning.

The summer garden sprung back to life immediately, its foliage more vibrant after being washed clean and getting its water reserves replenished.

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My beloved

Morning Glory

I plant morning glory every year. Always in the same spot, always the same variety - Heavenly Blue. I forget about it after I plant it, it is slow to start in spring and its foliage gets lost in the jumble when the mid-summer growth takes over the flower beds.

Come August, its growth accelerates enthusiastically, especially if summer rains have been plentiful, and it swallows up its supports, clambering eagerly to the highest point it can find, and only there it starts to bloom.

In my case the highest point is a pine bough that hangs just above the trellis, within reach of the springy vines. The image of this pine covered in huge blue flowers is so surreal that I wouldn't dream of missing it by not planting my beloved in this spot, although this year I also started it in the back yard.

Because of the vine's name people think that morning glory flowers only open during the first hours of the day, which isn't true. When the sky is overcast they stay open all day long, the plant just doesn't like the crude sun rays burning its delicate corollas.

Morning glory is not like other garden favorites that take their time to develop their buds into blossoms and build your anticipation over days, sometimes weeks. You just walk in your garden one bright morning to find its corner covered by a veil of huge flowers, all open at the same time to dazzle you in sparkling jewel hues.

This summer it happened today. It started blooming and will continue to do so, with abandon, until the first frost. The plant is very sensitive to cold; when you sow the seeds in spring make sure they don't sprout until after the date of the last frost in your area, because the plant will not recover from being exposed to it.

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