Go with the flow
• Pull up dandelions and thistles; While the soil is wet, you stand a good chance of getting the taproot out whole. In dry soils it invariably snaps off then regrows. Act now before the flowers set seed.
• Pick lettuce; It will be plentiful, sweet and tender, thanks to cool conditions and moist soil. To make a quick lettuce soup if the weather is too cold for salads, simply sweat finely chopped onion in butter, add cut-up lettuce, cover until it wilts then add fresh garden herbs and good chicken stock. Blend and season to taste.
• Sow watercress seeds half an inch deep, outside, in a pot of moist compost, or plant a stem with some roots. It is one edible plant that doesn’t mind being waterlogged.
• Make a pot of mint tea Mint loves moist soil and is one of the first herbs to put on new growth, so make fresh mint tea and take a moment to notice the new foliage on shrubs such as Japanese acers.
• Support border plants; Their new top growth will be soft. Wire supports and pea sticks are easier to push in when the ground is wet. Plants flopping over paths can be held back by a permanent edging or a row of Link Stakes.
• Wear gloves; Keep dry while planting, weeding and pricking out. Thin Showa 370 gloves are great for dexterous tasks but the nitrile coating and elasticated wrists keep out cold and dirt; they are washable, too. £8, widely available.
• Get some wet weather kit Walking or sailing jackets and trousers that are waterproof yet breathable work well – think Lands’ End or Regatta. A waterproof baseball cap or hat with a rim allows more movement than a hood. Wellies are fine for most garden activities but for carrying heavy items or digging, walking boots offer more protection. For quick dashes out, it’s worth keeping a pair of slip-on plastic clogs by the back door.