Wonders of Wet Weather 

Is your mood affected by the weather? Water falling from the sky is strangely comforting. Somehow, it’s so much easier to grant yourself permission to relax during a downpour. And nothing beats the smug snugness inside a Breeze House when outside is cold and wet.  

In this second edition of the Be in Your Element series, we delve deeper into the essential element of water. We’ll explore its role in shaping our identity, the wonders it holds, the emotions it stirs, and why a Breeze House is the ultimate wet weather accessory. 

A preoccupation with precipitation 

Our fascination with rain has turned into a national obsession. Its frequency makes us grumble.  

Daily plans, outdoor events, and even how we feel are impacted when it’s chucking it down. Chatting about the wet weather is a big part of British culture and a key part of who we are. 

In her book “Rain: Four Walks in English Weather,” novelist and nature writer Melissa Harrison paints a vivid picture of how the English landscape transforms during wet weather. Harrison contends that we miss out if we keep indoors when it’s pouring: 

“I think we see rain as a negative influence, and we try and stay indoors, but to love the countryside and only visit it in dry weather is like loving music and only listening to it in a major key.” 

Melissa Harrison

To bolster her argument, Harrison shares a glorious list of dialect words in the book’s appendix capturing the rich variety of rain. For example, ‘Dibble,’ a Shropshire expression to mean slow, drizzling rain; ‘Fox’s wedding,’ a term from Gloucestershire, Dorset, and Devon describing sudden raindrops from a clear sky; and ‘Letty,’ a Somerset descriptor indicating enough rain to make outdoor work difficult.  

Weathering the storm  

If taking a rain check on going outdoors means missing out, how can we turn water falling from the sky into a pleasurable experience?  

Donning shapeless Gore-Tex and feeling the rain on your face may not be your idea of fun. Fortunately, there is another way to grasp the essence of what you’re missing without the need to get wet. As one Breeze owner aptly puts it: 

“Rain is the perfect time to use a Breeze House. Sheltered, warm with heaters and lights when necessary. We love sitting out when everybody else has to stay in.” 

5 rain falling in garden with breeze house gazebo sqr

A conical thatched roof not only provides cover from the rain but also muffles heavy downpours to a gentle pitter-patter. Cosy back and bench cushions, made of marine-grade fabric, create an inviting retreat to snuggle in on rainy days. Think of the canvas panels like a fashionable raincoat, with clear panels to frame views of raindrops bouncing off verdant leaves and hitting the grateful ground. 

Rainy encounters  

The natural world looks very different in the rain. Wet weather is a feast for the eyes if you take a moment to observe.  

Dandelions delicately close their fluffy clocks, to stop them spoiling in the rain. Clover gracefully raises its trifoliate leaves toward the heavens in anticipation of dampness. 

Artistic greats like Constable and Turner were captivated by the allure of rainclouds and meteorological phenomena such as drizzle and mist. They appreciated the beauty of rain in all its forms – even if it wasn’t seen as conventionally pleasant or convenient.  

Rainfall creates optical spectacles, from the enchanting arc of a rainbow to the dance of clouds in the water cycle. On cloudy days everything seems to take on a different hue. The colours of the sky, trees, and plants appear more vibrant against the dark grey backdrop. 

breeze house rain

Earth’s perfume  

When the heavens open and rain hits the dry earth, you’re hit with a fragrance also known as ‘petrichor’.  

Originating from the Greek words ‘petra’ (stone) and ‘ichor’ (the golden fluid in the veins of Gods), petrichor possesses calming properties.  

Rooted in cultural memories from our ancestors who associated rain with abundant food and water, the scent of rain refreshes and enlivens the experience of being in a garden gazebo.  

Cleaner air  

Rain cleanses the atmosphere. As raindrops fall, they attract air pollution particles. Clean, fresh air after rain bolsters health and happiness. 

After a storm, the air feels even more invigorating as it’s charged with negative ions. Electrical storms elevate the levels of negative ions which make us feel more alive. Your Breeze House becomes a destination after the storm has passed to absorb nature’s ionization therapy. 

Acoustic ecology  

Many people love the sound of rain. From a heavy downpour to gentle pitter-patter, raindrops falling on different surfaces are nature’s white, or even pink, noise.  

White noise is often played to babies to soothe them to sleep. It’s been likened to a radio tuned into an unused frequency. Higher pitched sounds are muffled and masked like the soothing, ambient environment in the womb.  

Pink noise is like white noise with the bass turned up. It’s thought to be even more soothing than white noise especially for sensitive ears. Pink noise can help you slip into deeper sleep and improve your long- and short-term memory.  

There’s lots of research to suggest the whole spectrum of rain sounds can alleviate anxiety. The brain interprets the steady sound of moving water as non-threatening so promotes focus and relaxation. 

Many meditation and relaxation videos incorporate rain sounds for their therapeutic effects but there’s no beating the real thing. Acoustic ecology is the natural sounds in our lives. The soft rustle of leaves in the breeze, bird song and the rhythmic pattern of rainfall contribute to lower heart rates and deeper breathing, while excessive man-made sounds harm our health.  

In the absence of rain, a water fountain or water feature can work in much the same way cancelling out extraneous noise, like the sounds from a street traffic, to create a serene scene.  

Feel the rain  

If movies are anything to go by there’s a romantic charm to kissing or dancing in the rain. But how do you convince the more hesitant to relinquish the comforts of their sofa for the joys of being out in damp weather? 

Research indicates that even just half an hour in nature can improve mental well-being. A survey of Breeze House owners revealed that 93% spent more time in their gardens since having one, with 85% saying their Breeze House brings them closer to nature. 

There’s something so cosy about being under cover, listening to the rain, and enjoying a warm cup of tea. Rainy days allow for introspection and self-reflection, as the soothing sound of rain clears the mind. 

Breeze house rainy day

In Ted Hughes’ work “The Rain Horse,” published in the London Magazine, he captures the sentiment when he describes how rain brings a pause to the protagonist’s day: 

“He wanted this rain to go on forever. Whenever it seemed to be drawing off, he listened anxiously until it closed in again. As long as it lasted, he was suspended from life and time.” 

Ted Hughes

The lack of control and the unpredictability of rain grounds us in the moment. Nature writer Melissa Harrison suggests that this experience cultivates a sense of both wildness and humility. John Koenig even coined the term ‘chrysalism’ to describe the feeling of amniotic tranquillity when taking refuge during a thunderstorm. 

A deluge also presents a precious opportunity to detach from devices, connect with loved ones and let conversations flow as freely as water. 

The flow of creativity  

Another thing that makes wet weather special is how it sparks creativity. Cloudbursts are the perfect backdrop for writing, painting, or all kinds of other arty pursuits. Rain sets the mood with its white noise sharpening focus and concentration.  

Alex Johnson makes the point perfectly in his new book, ‘100 words for Rain’ (available for pre-order) about the British weather for the National Trust, published in collaboration with HarperCollins. He shares this passage from AA Milne’s autobiography about how When We Were Very Young was written during a wet holiday in North Wales in 1923:  


“It rained continuously… In a week I was screaming with agoraphobia. Somehow, I must escape. I pleaded urgent inspiration, took a pencil and an exercise book, and escaped to the summerhouse. It contained a chair and a table. I sat down on the chair, put my exercise book on the table, and gazed ecstatically at a wall of mist which might have been hiding Snowdon or the Serpentine for all I could see or cared.”

Alex Johnson

Johnson explains AA Milne had a “fixed determination not to leave the heavenly solitude of that summerhouse until it stopped raining”. Over the course of eleven wet days in the summerhouse he wrote eleven sets of verse.  

Another rain-soaked family holiday in Wales also seems to have been the inspiration for Colin Dexter to write the first in his Inspector Morse series, Last Bus to Woodstock (1975). Johnson reveals that Dexter, inspired by reading crime fiction in his holiday let during damp weather, felt compelled to try his hand at it believing he could do better.  

These anecdotes make the case for the creative potential of rainy days. The next time water falls from the sky, consider the possibilities that immersing yourself in the element holds for your health, wellness, and creativity. 

For 30 years, Breeze Houses have reintroduced people to nature. As the creators of the UK’s original luxury garden gazebo, we’ve made it our mission to defy the whims of British weather and release the revitalising power of being closer to nature. 

If you’re ready to rediscover the joys of the great outdoors, explore our collection of Breeze House designs. Sign up to receive every edition of the Be in Your Element series. Don’t brave the elements, embrace them in luxury 

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