Sorry for being absent for such a long time, I haven’t written a new post since Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day on the 15th March, and I haven’t visited any other blogs since then either. Between lots of hospital appointments and getting adaptations granted by my housing association sorted on my house there really haven’t been many evenings where I felt like sitting down writing. And if I did, what should I write about? How nice my spring garden looks?? Ha! I can tell you straight away that my garden looks pretty much the same as last time you saw it, not much change in almost 2 weeks thanks to the incredibly cold weather we have had!
I have lost count how many times it has snowed this winter, which is quite a thing in itself, usually it snows once or perhaps twice in a winter in London, often not at all – this winter we must be well over 10. We haven’t had any major snowfall within London, not like other parts of the country where they now have piles of snow along the roads measuring up to a meter and even more. Here in London the snow has usually melted before next load so it never mounted to too much, but it has been cold, bitterly cold for months on end. Apart from a few very brief warm periods we have had cold weather since late November. We might as well have lived in Norway, where I am from! I heard on the news today that March 2013 is the coldest March since 1962, which apparently was a record braking cold year here in Britain. I can believe it, March has been mostly minus degrees at night and below 5 degrees Celsius at day. Brrrr! And according to long term predictions, April isn’t going to be particularly good either, the jet streams that gives us this cold weather are staying put and will give us colder than usual weather in April too. Apparently. Brrr!!
This is what snowfalls in my garden usually have mounted up to, a light drizzle everywhere. There is more stuff like this coming tomorrow, no let up yet!
Most of the flowers that are out so far can cope with the snow, those that can’t have wisely not started flowering yet...
The hyacinths have grown a bit the last 2 weeks, just a bit, but at this rate they are weeks away from flowering. They usually flower in late February!
My crocuses are keeping their flowers tightly shut, too cold and no sunshine. This is Crocus 'Prince Claus' finally making an appearance. I planted 50 of him, only 4 has come up so far, not sure where the rest is – is it too cold for the Prince?
My pretty ballerinas are continuing to grow, slowly, slowly, but there is no sign of them opening the flowers. I completely understand, it is just too cold!
The anemones have just about started to flower, not many of them yet, and none of them are completely open yet but it is an encouraging sign.
Sadly, some of my plants has suffered from this exceptionally long drawn, cold weather. This Euphorbia amygdaloides purpurea is evergreen and looks rather in a sorry state, not sure how it will recover, unless I cut it down.
And this was the only helleborus niger flower I got this year, from 2 plants. One flower – which now is horizontal from frost damage to the stalk. The new leaves are barely visible at the stem, they don’t seem to want to come out yet.
So with all the cold weather for weeks on end, snow and bitterly cold winds, I haven’t done much gardening. To be honest, there hasn’t been much gardening to do except the occasional tidying up. Instead I have concentrated on this area of my garden, this is the part I normally don’t show – the part behind me when I take my overview photo of the garden. As you can see, half of the patio has been filled with pots of various seedlings and cuttings and lots and lots of dormant plants and bulbs waiting for some warmer weather. My green nursery shelf in the background is absolutely packed all year round with plants and I have for a long time wanted to get some more shelves in so I could grow some more seedlings and cuttings.
This passage along the fence is perfect for some more shelving so that’s what I have been doing these last two cold weeks, putting up shelves in my garden.
And here they are, in the bleak sunshine we had for a brief period today. The 4 shelves are 61cm wide each, a total of almost 2.5 m long and 1.3m tall, in solid plastic.
The next area to get my attention is the seating area. I have wondered for a long time what to do here, as the space is quite small. I moved things around today and got rid of the large table I have had here for the last 10 years, that helped a bit. Ideally I would like to have one of those outdoor sofas so I can have somewhere to lie down and also somewhere to sit like I do on my sofa indoors; across with my legs up. The problem with those outdoor sofas is that they are terribly low and therefore difficult for me to get up from, they take a lot of space and they are ideally supposed to be stored indoors during the winter. I am still wondering what to do here....I’ll let you know when I have decided :-)
Oh, by the way, did you notice this thing in the corner on the previous picture with the raincoat on?
I have finally got myself a chimenea! I haven’t been able to test it out yet, it has been so cold that the thought of sitting down, even with a fire hasn’t really been that tempting. I usually go out in the garden and do some work for an hour or so and then I go inside and warm up again under my electric throw. But I will test out this chimenea soon, it will need to be moved out to the middle of the garden though before being lit, if I lit it up here it would melt all the plastic tubing on the outside of my house – a not very decorative necessity on Victorian houses where indoor toilet was an unaffordable luxury.
The chimenea is made of cast iron and steel, and painted with heat resistant paint. It needs the raincoat to not rust too much in the British weather, but it will rust a bit anyway so a new coat of paint every now and then is apparently necessary. Time will tell, I think it is a lovely piece of sculpture and I hope I can free it from its raincoat as soon as possible, when we get a bit better weather, so the chimenea can be enjoyed properly as the big statement it is. In the mean time I am still pondering about what to do with this seating area. Still pondering...
Until next time – whilst waiting for some much needed sun and warm weather, I will try to visit some of the blogs I have not been able to visit the last 2 weeks. Stay warm, take care!