Friday, 14 January 2011

14.01. Still raining

It’s been raining and raining and raining for what seems like forever. I get so fed up with this weather, and it’s going to rain the whole day today too, but tomorrow it seems like we are going to get a small let-up during the day. I can’t wait to get out in my garden and do a bit of clearing up. I got quite a few plans for things that need to be done by the time most of the plants start to wake up for the spring, it is just so much easier to do things when the beds are almost empty and I don’t risk stepping on small plants emerging out of the ground. However, all this rain has made the ground pretty saturated, and any kind of digging is rather heavy work! Speaking of rain, it is quite common to have a lot of rain in the beginning of the year here in London, so it’s not as if we have any unusual weather, just me being fed up....but sometimes we do get more days in a row with this than normal. Have a look at this 10 day forecast I have saved from January 2010, it is a screen print, no cheating. Pretty depressing
stuff!

Click on the picture to get a full size:
Picture courtesy of uk.weather.com
However, London overall is a pretty dry place to live, it rains less here than in Madrid and Rome, which is hard to believe right now...and was even harder to believe last July.........but it is an actual fact. And I can still remember last time we had a house pipe ban, it’s only a few years ago...in 2006, when all watering of private gardens had to be done by watering cans, and watering with your hose pipe would give you a hefty fine, were you discovered.

As a gardener I frequently use the BBC weather web-site to keep me updated, they have an excellent 5 days forecast which gives quite local predictions. Most of the time they get it right, more often than other web-sites I use, but sometimes their update can go a bit hasty perhaps, as the next picture will show. I actually spotted this very late one night, after it had been very different (correct) earlier in the evening. Perhaps someone was a bit tired when they put the symbols on this one? The forecast shows sunshine and showers for 4 days and snow on the fifth day, nothing strange about that, except for the temperatures that are forecasted for those 5 days! The date for this forecast is 31st July 2006 (top left corner). This one is not Photoshopped either, it is a screen-print, just like I found it :-)

Click on the picture to get a full size:
Picture courtesy of BBC.co.uk
As I am writing this, the rain is hammering on my window and coming down almost vertically because of the wind. It’s about to get dark, so today's chance to get out in the garden is definitely gone. The days are still quite short, but I have noticed that we are getting slightly longer days; between 1 and 3 minutes every day to be precise – every little helps!

But I have hopes for tomorrow, I just want to get out there and see what’s survived the winter so far and what’s definitely died. There are always casualties in the garden from every winter, this winter is by far over yet, but after the very cold December we have had, I might have to bury some victims already. I keep taking cuttings from some of the plants, to have a back-up when accidents happens, but sometimes it is the cuttings that die instead, being young and vulnerable. And a lot of the plants I have can’t be propagated from cuttings, they have to be divided or I have to collect seeds, which for the latter part is a method that takes a very long time. I have successfully increased my collection of lilies from 5 to around 150, just by collecting seeds, but it takes around 4 years before they flower, so although they are quite hardy after the second year - most of all it requires patience!

If I do get outside tomorrow, I’ll try to take some photos, perhaps some before-and-after photos, that is assuming I actually get done enough to make a difference :-) Till then, take care...I’ll be back.

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