RTBG Thursday 5 March 2020

Followers of this blog’s stories detailing my Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) experiences, know that every Thursday for almost a year, regardless of season, each day was sunny and dry. Gorgeous.  Perfect for gardening.

But recent events reminded me that change is the rule not the exception.

On Thursday the 5th March, the heavens opened for 24 hours of continuous wonderful rain, followed by a few days of drizzle and rain off and on. For the first time in years, the dry earth around my house began to moisten. Seriously.

On that Thursday, the temperature was mild and I was inclined to travel to the RTBG if dry work could be found. My text to the Coordinator of the Community Food Garden offering to come to the RTBG received the response ‘Thanks Helen, stay home & enjoy the fantastic rain’. I exchanged texts with another Food Garden volunteer who lives away from the city.  She told me ‘we have beautiful rain here this morning and it is set to continue all day’. I told her ‘my garden is so relieved’. Her response ‘Isn’t it beautiful. I have always loved everything about rain and today there is no wind; it is so regenerative.’

The day was reinvigorating and exciting. The air of summer was being cleaned.  My powdery soil was being filled with moisture. The crickets trilled and chirped loudly. Happily.

Since that first rainy Thursday, I have learnt N, D and T all went to the RTBG that morning. N turned compost and, as is the regular practice each Thursday, D and T picked tomatoes and other vegetables ready to be distributed to charity.  And all were drenched.  Old Japara jackets were found to be wanting – our days here are so dry that raincoats seldom get used – and water poured down necks and soaked through their clothes.  Even so, these three hardy volunteers loved every moment but were glad for hot showers and dry clothes once home!

Following those few days of rain, the sun returned. Then and now, more rain and drizzly days have become the new normal. For the moment.

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