January 30, 2020 Luke Williams
As I look through our window, day and night, rain, rain, rain. From light to dark, then dark to light. Grey, overcast clouds seem to tower over the city of Vancouver. Heavy precipitation creates a screen in front of the landscape of the wet, North Shore mountains. Everything around seems cold, wet, and muddy. Puddles here, puddles there, puddles everywhere. We’ve all heard the familiar term ‘Raincouver’. It is a common term thrown around by the residents of this city during these dreary winter months. Aspects of this rainy weather have been shown to affect one’s mood. It’s not your imagination; rainy weather can, indeed, have a negative affect on a person’s emotions. It’s common to see a change in humor, such as feelings of sadness or lower self esteem, when it’s consistently rainy outside. With an average of over 150 days of rain annually, Vancouver is one of Canada’s wettest and foggiest cities, so it’s important not to let the weather affect our mindset negatively.
As a landscaper, working outdoors year-round means I get the brunt of those 150 rainy days. But instead of focusing on the defeatist or uncomfortable parts of my job, I choose instead to look to the future. I embrace the rain and all the natural phenomena it brings to this part of the country. I choose to focus on the importance of the rain. Temperate rainforests, (like the one we live in) are often referred to as the lungs of the planet, for their role in absorbing carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen. Farmers’ crops need water for both growth and cooling. Cereal, bread, grains, vegetables and fruits; the juicy succulent steaks with potatoes and fresh veg, accompanied by crisp glasses of local red wine; it is important to understand that the freshwater rain provided this time of year is essential to the survival of every living organism here in B.C. Rainy days replace lost water, nourishing water.
The vivid beauty that comes from a great diversity of plants, allowing us to witness magnificent varieties of flora in our own back garden, is a result of this acidic rainfall. Flowering varieties, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, camelias, daffs, and heathers. Trees, such as evergreens, beech, willow, oak, and dogwood, along with fruits, such as cranberries, blueberries and huckleberries. You need only take one of Vancouver’s infamous hikes, come springtime, to appreciate the city’s natural splendor and look over the beautiful sites, such as Vancouver harbour, English Bay, Indian Arm, Spanish Banks, and all the surrounding greenery that accompanies the landscape. None of this would be possible if it were not for the rainfall the city receives at this time of year.
And so, I have decided, no more gazing out the window. I unhook my raincoat next to the patio door, wrapping it securely around me. Sliding the glass door open and stepping outside, the earthly smell of the rain is soothing. Nothing is thirsty, as the rain continues to fall. Looking around, there is the covered-up barbeque, some pots on a cedar ledge, some thriving, some just mere mediums. I sit down at the seating area, made up of old, recycled pallets, which have weathered pleasantly since summer. Resting my tea on a big, rounded electrical spool. Above,hangs a series of fairy lights, draping from one end of the patio to the other. As I sip my tea amongst some acid-loving plants, I notice some early crocus begging to rise. Enjoying my surroundings,nature,and my corner of heaven.On my feet, I step out further, raising my face to the sky. Drops fall upon me, refreshing tears of rain. One more sip as I think to myself that yes, there are brighter days to come.
Craine Projects offers exceptional landscaping services, construction, and garden design to homes across Metro Vancouver. We proudly provide detailed-focused craftsmanship, innovative solutions, and the best available locally-sourced materials to create your dream outdoor space. Working tirelessly with what mother nature intends – all backed by our industry-leading warranty.