Most evenings I spend a couple of enjoyable hours watering shrubs, hedging plants, borders, pots and the lawns here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House.

The summer suns not only bring forth a myriad of flowers and fragrant blooms but also dry the ground out at an alarming pace.

Here at Bellaugello we have a spring, some two hundred metres below the house.  Water  runs out of a vein in the ground.  Last year we rebuilt the ancient catchment and filter tanks and installed a strong pump to pump the water up some seventy metres to the hill behind the house some 350 metres distant from the spring.  We have buried three enormous tanks on the hill to ensure that we have a ready supply of water for the garden and in line with our eoc policy have also connected the lavatories and washing machines to the spring supply.  Drinking water for the house comes from the mains supply which runs through the property.

Anyway back to last night, I noticed that some of the paeonies were looking tired and dry, so pulled a hosepipe over to refresh them, then went off to cook dinner.

Half way through dinner the heavens opened and the rain began.  Distant rumbles of thunder, small flashes of lightning, and dark rolling clouds.

The wind picked up, the past few days we have had that warming sirocco coming from the south, and cleverly or dangerously disguising the heat of the sun and ineffectiveness of some sun creams, but last night it picked up and blew a gale.

By the time I got to bed the storm was overhead, skies lit up, bright as daylight, thunder roaring all around and rain, rain, rain.  Wagnerian Valkyries flew, Harry Potter was whirling in a quiditch match, and Mendelsson’s waves were crashing in Fingals Cave.  Why oh why does it have to do that to me?  Months of drought and then a night of deluge.

I woke this mornig to find the road washed into the drive, sunloungers and umbrellas blown over, lavender flattened, and flower heads turned to mush.  Yes I do not have to water the garden tonight, yes there is more water for the spring, but the damage is great, and my work of putting the road back where it belongs will in no way be as enjoyable as the langorous hours of watering….

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