The storm has arrived. It’s only our second storm of the winter, and it’s called Storm Barbara. I’ve waited for it. Normally, I’ve attempted to get the latest article online by Wednesday each week. This week is different, though. I’m extra busy, but now that the wind and rain are all around, just two days before Christmas, I’ve taken time out from the busyness to sit and write. Time out from wrapping gifts, endless cycling, tidying my room and preparing sherry trifle while trying out the Baileys cream. There are thirty-seven other jobs that need doing, but right now I want to write during the storm.
It’s another Monday, and time to begin another week. In the garden, the temperature has moved wildly. This morning it’s a very mild 8 celsius here in Abbeyside at 8am, and likely to hit 10C later. As against that, it dipped to minus 2 overnight on Friday.
These low temperatures are tough for plants. Most are able for the drop, and some actually revel in such conditions. I was out with the camera on Saturday to catch the cold.
|Phlox subulata ‘McDaniel’s Cushion’|
|Osteospermum jucundum ‘Blackthorn Seedling’|
Note: O. jucundum is a perennial with aromatic grey-green leaves and daisy-like, white flowers, flushed purple with darker purple eyes in summer and autumn. I’m putting it on my list of favourite plants. Further info here (on my virtual welly footprint)
|This little fella accompanied me on my 5-minute ramble|
|One of the few untouched gypsophila|
Finally, loaded to my chin with seventeen logs, I approached the kitchen window boxes. The pansies are in full bloom, defying wind, rain and cold. This particular one is so pretty, added to by a tiny spray of light mist remaining from overnight. Naturally, you’ll understand that this photograph was not taken until I had unloaded the seventeen stove logs in the stove log basket beside the stove; and when I returned to the shed to get the camera (it was beside the log pile, you’ll agree?), the delicate mist on the pansy was exactly as it had been one minute earlier.
|I love the misty rain on top|
- Time in garden: five minutes. That’s just about enough. I’ll put on the kettle and set the fire while it boils.
- Four minutes to set and light the stove
- Four minutes for water to boil
- Result: tea and accomplishment
- Five minutes later on, warmed by both tea and stove, to to dickie up the robin photo
Happy gardening (or reading), wherever you are,
Even now, approaching mid-December, there are still a number of flower heads despite five or six nights of heavy frost over the last two weeks.
It has very definitely cheered up my Monday.
Pádraig, 12th December 2016.
|Narcissus Ziva (click for details)|
However, There’s A But
Interestingly, I find myself walking much more slowly. On the flip-side, this slow walking leads me to see small tasks that need attending to. Here’s today’s three:
- thin the thriving winter lettuces
- replace one cracked glasshouse pane
- spray the window-box pansies for whitefly! I’d have thought that hard frost would have helped me out, but the buggers are still there
|Task 2: replace the pane to stop draughts|
|Task 3: kill the critters the frost left behind!|