The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Soft and gentle rain

Photo: Home grown watercress

Photo: Home grown watercress

Last night I repaired to bed expecting a rainy day today. In the morning I woke to cloudy skies, 6cm of rainfall over the last 24 hours and the promise of more.

I prepared for a day on the cliff face (thermos of sweet tea, elevenses and hearty lunch) but expected to return by mid afternoon at the latest. There were spits of rain between two and three this afternoon so I scraped down some ancient iron guttering and painted it at the end of the day when the sky cleared.

We’re now expecting rain all day tomorrow. This has an adverse impact on our income – if I‘m working outdoors. But these stolen free days are secretly treasured by me. I can always work on a fine weekend to make up the money. Meanwhile these days are not punctuated by the weekly shop or plans. I can work all day on the garden and at this time of year it’s a real boon. Eight hours out in the garden equates to sixteen hours in a month’s time and reaps dividends as the summer progresses.

Perhaps my body was tuned to a day at home today. I was disappointed that it was dry this morning and returned home exhausted this evening – having clocked up the maximum amount of hours to cover the expected rain tomorrow.

I’m longing for rain in the morning. Like our garden, sometimes I need to be watered by gentle rain.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Wendy

    Good luck with your watercress. I have had great fun growing mine!

    Hello Heather

    Thanks so much for leaving a comment. Really delighted that you are enjoying the site.

    Hello Liz

    Thanks for dropping by. I really envy your five acres. We are lucky to have a third of an acre but long for just a bit more space.

    Have you discovered John Seymour’s book The New Complete Book of Self Sufficiency? I reviewed it here, – if you have five acres you will be laughing as there is so much that you can do with that amount of space!

    Hi Jo

    It was great and I really caught up in the garden. Don’t mind gardening during a shower and love it when the sun peeps through!

    Hi Ruthdigs

    Thanks for this comment and your email.

    I grow the watercress in a pot of potting compost that sits in a washing up bowl of fresh water (changed everyday) in the shade. The cress thrives and the vegetable garden enjoys the water from the bowl. In a heat wave I’d refill the bowl twice a day. It seems to work very well.

    Hello Sylvie

    Yes I did get my break and basked!

    Hi Kate(uk)

    We have the same! Weeds appearing from nowhere :o)

  2. kate (uk)

    Rained all night- amazonian jungle by the morning…how do weeds get that big in just ten hours?

  3. Sylvie

    I hope you’ve got the gentle rain you crave.

  4. Ruthdigs

    Exeter also has ‘the gentle rain from heaven’, everything looks more green somehow.
    Your watercress looks good, how are you growing it? I was always given to understand it was a bit difficult for the home grower needing running water? I’ve got some seeds of the American Land Cress to try this year in its place.

  5. I’m glad you got your wish! Have a good garden day,

    Love from not so sunny Cambridge

  6. Just found this site – brilliant! We have recently moved to 5 acres and this site will really help with our self-sufficiency endeavors! Thankyou!

  7. Heather

    Thank you very much for going to the trouble of posting something new almost every day. I love reading your blog and I can always be assured of something interesting when I arrive at work.
    Even though it’s autumn here in Sydney, I love reading about your gardening exploits

  8. Wendy

    Once again it’s your last sentence which does it for me! Loved your pic of the watercress with raindrops. It is one of my favourite things along with crunchy bulbs of fennel chopped in a salad. Am trying to grow watercress from seed this year and have some nice little plants to grow on.x

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