Every time it rains here in Southern California, I eagerly await the storm's passing so I can venture out into our garden and explore. Rain is such a rarity in this arid desert climate, its presence inevitably changes things - the smell, the look, the feel of everything - if you pay close attention, the entire garden goes through a metamorphosis after a downpour.
One of my favorite post-rain discoveries is how rain affects the delicate Nasturtium flowers that my husband Tim planted in our garden. From a handful of seeds, they now grow like weeds - spreading over the ground, climbing over fenceposts - their yellow, red & orange blooms peeking out between their large, lilypad-like green leaves. And the rain transforms these little beauties.
Originally from Peru, Nasturtiums made their way to Europe when they were brought by Spanish conquistadors to Spain in the early sixteenth century and quickly spread around the continent. Monet's famous garden at Giverny was laden with nasturtiums as they fit the impressionist's style of shimmering, blurred colors as they spilled over pathways like enthusiastic brush strokes.
These clever little edible plants were designed by nature to catch the raindrops - one at a time - in their conical leaves. And when the post-rainshower light reflects on these droplets, something magical happens. It's like something out of a fairytale - too beautiful not to try & capture with my lens - and share with you...
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