I think one thing many of us share, while at the same time not sharing, is our preoccupation with the weather in the garden. Our gardens are drastically informed by the weather we get. It inevitably dictates what and how we grow.
I’m not thinking of the climate emergency. Or climate disasters. I’m just reflecting on our every day discontent, or occasionally joy, in the weather which is sent to our gardens. In England and Wales we are generally blessed with merely troublesome weather and it manages to oil our conversations and feed our preoccupation with forecasts endlessly. Unlike our near neighbours who live on a large continental landmass, where weather can stay fixed for weeks and weeks, our island gives us almost constant variability.
This year, we have had a generally and unusually mild winter. I left some nemesia plants outside in pots because I’d never found them worth overwintering indoors. And I was being lazy. (Really?!) Their next season revival always seemed pathetic so not worth bothering with. However, the plants that had been sitting outside all winter this year revived in early spring and recently began flowering their socks off. Fabulous – and evidence of the mild winter.
But we’ve also had drought. I read somewhere that we had half our usual winter rain. This makes us pity those in the south east of the country who often seem to have droughted gardens in summer without any extra droughting.
It has been followed by a dry spring. So we have been checking our weather apps several times a day.
I have a radar app. Which generously shows me all the showers which sail past us.
And when we’re opening the garden, it shows me huge blocks of rain heading our way. I have been known to refer to our garden as Drought Buster. And true to form yesterday, after many modest showers which made little impression on the rain gauge, the rain has come along with our first garden opening of the year.
And although it reduced our visitor numbers drastically, I have been rejoicing in the rain and have been out in it checking the good and the bad of it.
One iris got zapped.
They do get top heavy, so real wet does this. Charles is not happy.
And this happens everywhere – walking round the garden after heavy rain you’ll get soaked. So before we open we’re often rushing round with a wheel barrow cutting back the droops.
We can’t do much about this, as the path is an intrinsic part of the ruined cottage, but it gets horribly slippery…
And indoors this happens, which is why we have hard floors where you come in.
However, along with a sudden surge of happy growth, there are delights in the rain.
and the moss revives. We would hate to lose the moss on our stone walls and this is just at a convenient feeling height….
So – today w̶e̶ I, and the garden, are rejoicing. May you all have the weather you wish for.