Friday, 30 September 2011

30.09. September heat wave

Last day of September today, it’s almost unbelievable, as I have been in my garden for most of the day and it was 30 degrees out there in the afternoon!  We are experiencing some very unusual warm weather at the moment, not that it hasn’t been warm in September before; it has - and it is quite common with a spell of warm weather sometime in September, but not 30 degrees, and not for such a long period as we have had now.

Tomorrow, Saturday the 1st October is the most important day to watch. That’s when we will know if we have broken the longest lasting heat record. It is from 1889 or 1886 or something like that, can’t remember on top of my head, but it’s from when Britain started recording temperatures anyway. And since then the highest temperature on October the first is 29.4 degrees Celsius. And tomorrow we might possibly break that record in London or just outside. Incidentally, I saw on the news that many shops have put up Christmas decoration and started selling Christmas cards today, as it is the 1st October tomorrow. That feels slightly bizarre when we have weather like this and most people are walking around in T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops. Spare a thought for all those people who have paid a fortune to travel to countries around the Mediterranean area this week; they could just as well have stayed at home, the weather is better and warmer here!

If you read my post earlier this week, you know that I have started redesigning my garden, and especially changing the flower beds. Just to remind people, and let new visitors know; this is what it looked like on day one, after removing all the pots I used to have here and starting to remove the gravel. I had to water the area several times as I was digging, as the ground was very hard and compact and the only way I could get through it was to keep watering it and leaving it to soak and then dig a bit more and keep repeating this.

But look at it now, I finished it today with a nice top dressing of bark :-) Some of the plants look a bit miserable, but that’s partly because they have been moved from other parts of the garden and partly because it is last week of September and they are supposed to die down by now. Come next spring, this bed will be filled with plants. This front part is mainly red flowers; the red crocosmias that already were here, orange-red day lilies at the front, red geraniums which I hope will survive the winter even if they are not hardy. There is also a group of dark red gladioli which will tower over the soft pink peony bush in the middle, the pink is obviously a colour that clashes with the rest of the bed, but peonies don’t like to be moved and this one has already been moved once – which made it sulk and not flower for 4 years afterwards, so I am definitely not moving it again! The peony flowers for such a short time, I am just going to leave it there, even if it is soft pink in a bright red bed!

And here is the rest of the extended bed, I have moved some other plants over here too, and this end of the bed is mainly pink: there are 3 pink stargazer lilies, the large pink fuchsia Bella rosella at the front, bright pink Echinacea purpurea, 3 of them too and a lovely new pink rose in the middle. All of these are planted the last few days, but none of them will be possible to fully appreciate until next spring/summer. Oh, and I have planted some daffodils and crocuses in between the plants wherever possible; you can never have too many daffodils – they flower at a time of year when the beds are almost completely empty and are a welcome sight after a long winter. The next step in the redesigning of the garden is to do the same thing on the opposite side; making the bed almost twice as deep and get rid of the old wood edging and also get all the plants in the pots planted in the ground instead, as they are all quite mature and will have a better life in the ground.

I haven’t posted a picture of my cat here for ages, I thought it was about time to put one here again. This was taken in the garden today and was just a photo taken as he was passing by, so not much planned in terms of background etc. I have been thinking of taking another series of him a bit later this autumn, as in November he will be 10 years old and it would be nice to do something special for that occasion. The problem is to get him to cooperate; anyone who has a cat knows that cats only do what they like and sits posing for as long as they can be bothered – then they walk off! It’s not like having a dog who wants to please you and would sit or stand or do whatever you ask for as long as you ask, just to get that pat on the head. No, cats are a bit different that way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take great photos of them; you just need to plan a bit, anticipate a possible photo opportunity and be quick, really quick when the right moment is there. And finally, take lots of pictures, for every one really good picture you get you might take 20 you won’t use. That’s fine now that we all have digital cameras, it was a bit expensive back when we paid for every film to be developed and processed :-) Here is what I consider THE BEST PICTURE OF MY CAT, a photo I used for last year’s Christmas cards, just scroll down to the bottom of the post and click on the photo to get a larger version if you like.

Speaking of Christmas cards, I need to start planning this year’s cards soon! With this great weather I haven’t really got the feeling of urgency yet, it still feels like summer, but my presents and cards needs to be sent before 10th December, which is exactly 10 weeks till tomorrow, 1st October. Those 10 weeks goes quickly, very quickly by experience. But I can’t really get into the right spirit of creating Christmas cards when we have 30 degrees outside! My garden is also a bit confused over this weather, and as I have written about before, I have plants flowering that shouldn’t flower, and now I have plants shedding leaves that shouldn’t shed their leaves! It turns out that I am not the only one with summer flowering Hellebores this summer, SEE MY POST HERE.

I have found a short film from BBC weather about the confusion facing many plants and trees around the UK these days due to the weather, YOU CAN SEE THE FILM HERE.

Well, that’s it for tonight, I will be working in my garden tomorrow and Sunday, and I’ll update you when there is anything to report, until then, take care, and see you soon :-)

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