Brisbane has had its share of torrential rain, but when the heavens open, we often just think of the inconvenience to ourselves. Wet hair. Wet shoes. Wet clothes. Not to mention the problems of driving, with the windscreen wipers going full pelt, and traffic slowing to a crawl, or the slow trip home on public transport, with frequently cancelled services.
We don't give a thought to the benefits of rain to our gardens - even when we've had the best rain in four years, and the best gardening conditions for yonks.
Gardens are a part of our homes, and gardens and parks abound in Brisbane, such as the City Botanic Gardens and Roma Street Parklands. Lush plantings also feature in some well-known tourist eating places, like the River Bar & Restaurant on the Brisbane River, known as 'an oasis in the city'.
Gardens provide a haven for us to enjoy, with colour and fragrance from a myriad of plants, and shady, spreading trees that shelter us from the hot sun. Think frangipani, gardenias and roses for fragrance. Think weeping lillypilly or tulipwood for trees. And in so many suburban gardens, there's a veggie patch, with staked tomatoes, spreading zucchinis and cucumbers, and climbing beans.
Our gardens require water, and while a cursory sprinkle with a hose may make you feel good, it's often not enough to get right down to the roots of your plants.
But a downpour will. Heavy rain will soak right through the dry soil below the surface, and past the roots of the plants to give them a massive moisture burst. This is the perfect time to put in those new plants you've been thinking about, and to have new turf laid, which needs water to become firmly established.
A big downpour will also wash the leaves of every plant and tree. After the rain, your garden will look so fresh and vibrant that it could almost have had a trip to a green beauty salon. This is the ideal time to take some photos, so get out your smartphone or camera and start snapping.
But there's another benefit, too. When the soil is damp, weeds that previously defied your strongest efforts to remove them will become compliant. You can have the supreme satisfaction of pulling them out with no resistance on their part.
So after the next cloud burst, don't be grumpy. Thank that rain, just as your garden will. Give those weeds the old heave-ho - then plant away. You can happily plant all year in Brisbane, so make the most of these ideal gardening conditions while you can.