Thursday, 4 April 2013

A pictures says ....

At this time of year I usually take lots of pictures in my garden, documenting every emerging plant and every plant in flower. The last 2 months I have taken so few pictures I couldn’t really believe it when I started adding them up. I have wanted to go outside this week to take some pictures for my blog but to be honest it has been so cold I haven’t really been up for any photo safari, not even just outside in my garden.

But today when I was getting ready for going to a hospital appointment I thought I just had to go out and take a photo, as it just started to snow again!! Let me remind you, this is London, 4th April. Can you see the snow? If not, please click to enlarge the photo. It snowed for a couple of hours, but by the time I came home again tonight it was gone dark so I could not take any photos in my garden. The snow didn’t amount to much anyway, but it tells you how cold we still have it here. It was a measly 3 degrees on my thermometer today, slightly helped by the fact that I have my thermometer on a window so I guess it might have been even a bit colder earlier today. This weather has now broken every record in the books, apparently there is only one winter that has been colder, in 1948, and we are not out of the woods yet.


What I miss most is proper sunshine. I can have quite cold weather if I have a nice, crisp, sunny day. But we have had gloomy overcast weather for months on end and that takes its toll. Sure there has been a few days with sunshine here and there, we had one here the other day, but one day in between weeks of overcast just isn’t enough, not for me and not for my garden, we need weeks with warmth and sunshine now :-) Not much sun on offer the next 10 days though, and as you can see on the forecast above, more snow to come overnight but tomorrow there is a significant change in London. It will get slightly warmer towards the middle of next week, although 11 degrees Celsius in the middle of April is not exactly something to celebrate, in a normal year, that would have been called ‘cold weather’ – but after what we have had the last few months I take anything double figured!

I hope these slightly higher temperatures will wake up my garden from its very long winter hibernation, there are flowers on the verge of opening everywhere, they just need that final push. I hope I will be back with lots of photos for you soon, until then, take care :-)

34 comments:

  1. Weather pattern everywhere is changing so drastically, really scary :-(. Will your plants be able to survive such long winter?

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    1. I have lost some due to the cold weather already, not really sure how many, I have to see when the summer comes as some of them isn't out of the ground yet! I do wonder if my dahlias have survived, I never lift them over winter, never have in 9 years since I got my first dahlia, but this winter might have been too long and cold. We'll, see, no sign of them yet!

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  2. Sounds like spring has been slow in coming across the northern hemisphere! Finally today we had a decent day with a high about 50F (10C), with more to come on the weekend. Sounds like your weekend is looking better, too. I can't believe my Snowdrops are just now starting to bloom, and the Crocuses should be blooming by next week. We'll probably go straight to summer after that. Hang in there--soon you'll have so many blooms you won't know where to start with the camera. ;-)

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    1. And we have daffodils in April, rather unusual too! Yes, I am waiting for it to expolode here, I hope we get some nice sunshine with it too so I really get to enjoy the spring once it finally arrives. The forecast here is a slow improvement day by day towards the end of the month, so it will still take some time!

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  3. At least you have some blooms. I contacted my lily supplier in England today, wondering when my bulbs would be shipped and saying that May would be fine since it's so cold here... he said they had to go by mid-April because it gets too hot there... doesn't quite add up! Anyway... I've been clipping back old foliage on the hellebores and their buds are showing color despite the ground still being frozen. Also noticed some croci and eranthus blooming and the witch hazels beginning, so we're getting there. Local weather claims a big warm-up in a week and a half and this particular meteorologist is usually right! Yeah!Larry

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    1. Larry, when I bought my lily bulbs back in February, they were already sprouting. I got from two different suppliers and they all came with 2-3 cm growth. Surely, that must be down to how they store them? I would say in a normal year lily bulbs should be planted by mid April here in Britain, and even much earlier as we don’t have ground frost, but this year is not exactly normal. Having said that, I found one of my Lilium regale peering up above ground today so they are on their way in my garden, despite that the temperatures have not been above 5-6 degrees Celsius since November apart from a very few days.

      It seems we all are getting warmer weather in about 10 days time, both my garden and I can’t wait!

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  4. Hi Helene, that is really unusually cold for London! I totally can understand that weather like this is taking a toll on you. I would guess it does on everyone. I really hope that the weather will come around and finally will be spring-like in your neck of the woods. Until then I am sending you lot of sunshine from Southern California :-)!
    Christina

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    1. Thank you, I could do with some sunshine from California!
      I think the lack of sunshine has been even worse than the cold weather, if we have a gloriously crisp, cold day I can always put on a lot of clothes and grab a throw and sit in the garden for a while in the sun, and it won't feel so cold. With no sun, it always feel even colder than the thermometer shows. Can't wait for some real spring sunshine :-)

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  5. I'm in London too and like you, am fed up with the cold dreary days. There's a rumour going around of a heatwave in May, so let's keep our fingers crossed for it.

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    1. I'd love a heatwave!! Haven't really had one here in London since 2005, have we? That's a long time ago....

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  6. No snow here it's been nice and sunny but still cold.
    I think it depends which record book you use as to where this winter fits in.

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    1. Yes, I guess it does, I keep hearing different things on the news, about winter 1962 and winter 1948. I wasn’t here for neither of them, I moved to Britain in 1999 so I have had 10 quite short, relatively warm winters with no snow or just one snowfall, and then the last 4 winters with rather shock to the system - longer winters, snow and much colder. This winter being the worst of course. I much prefer the warmer winters :-)

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  7. Helene,
    Sometimes nice to think that the weather forecast is sometimes mistaken.
    I also want to think that's a mistake: night temperatures are consistently below zero. So the snow does not melt in the garden.
    I'm bored of this weather.
    Have a nice weekend!

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    1. I am bored of this weather too :-)
      But we are set to finally get some better weather, slowly warming up the next 10 days so that gives me hope. Never thought it would take that long though!
      Have a nice week-end you too!

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  8. Didn't realize the weather was breaking records! Or that it was still snowing there! You had such terrible weather last year, and now this year doesn't look like a good start. I hope it warms up for you. Not only do the flowers need it, but we gardeners need it, too.

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    1. Well, this gardener is really in need of some warmth and sunshine!
      I feel like we have broken weather records for the last few years now, some 'normal' weather would suit me just fine :-)

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  9. I think your weather forecast is the same as it is for us overhere. Neighbourghs where looking at me watering my garden but it was so cold overhere with such strong winds the plants even look terrible because they are drying out. One day the shop with bad weather is solled out so we are going to have a wonderful summertime (I hope)
    Have a wonderful weekend Helene.

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    1. Oh, I really wish this long winter meant we could be guaranteed a great summer, let's hope it does!
      We have also had really strong winds for a very long time, I have also had to water my pot plants, as they kept drying out. Have a wonderful week-end you too Marijke.

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  10. Your post is a good reminder for me to count my blessings. Here in Chicago it is on the cold side (high of 44 F,(7 C). But the sun is shining, the snow is gone, and at least the snowdrops and crocus are blooming.

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    1. The winter blooms have been a bit staggered here, my snowdrops started late January and were finished mid March, but because of the cold weather I have had crocuses in bloom for more than 2 months – hardly ever with the flowers open though, since we have had mainly grey and overcast weather. It is the spring flowers that are really, really late here, my camellia is about 6 weeks late, haven’t really started flowering yet!
      It’s been a nice day today, cold but the sun has come and gone all day and when it has been out it has been absolutely beautiful.

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  11. Hi Helene
    Don't despair. I am sure Spring is just taking its sweet time getting here :)
    I hope for your sake you don't get the incredible amount of rain you got last spring….

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    1. It sure is taking its sweet time!
      My garden is at least 6 weeks late compared to a normal year and more than 8-9 weeks compared to early years. I am not sure how much damage all this cold weather has done, will have to wait to do the final count but I already know of a few plants that hasn’t tolerated this weather too well.

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  12. Hi Helene
    Your weather is similar to ours. But it is getting better the next days... at least the temperatures, clouds will stay as I was told. However I just started to prune my roses, this will take a some days. I'm as keen as you are to get finally started in the garden. I'm a bit worried about you. Are you fine? You wrote more than once about Hospital visits... I hope it is nothing too serious and I send you a bit hug and get well wishes.
    Take care
    Alex

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    1. Hi Alex, it seems we all are getting a bit warmer weather, slowly warmer towards the end of the month. Unfortunately not with lots of sunshine, but the warmth will help a lot :-)

      I am disabled and housebound and have a very long list of conditions and diseases so I regularly have to go to hospitals to see the many different doctors and physiotherapists that takes care of me. I usually have 1 or 2 hospital appointments every week, sometimes more, I get hospital transport and it takes the whole day travelling in to central London, waiting around, see the doctors, more waiting around and travelling back. I’d much rather spend the days in my garden to be honest! You ask if I am fine, well, that’s a difficult question to answer, I will never get better, for me it is more a question of how quickly I am going to get worse, and that’s what the doctors are helping me with, slowing down the progression of my illness. I am coping quite well, and over the years I have learned to do a lot of things despite of my medical problems. It is amazing what you can do in the garden even if you can’t walk that much and have to use crutches – I do most of my gardening sitting on a stool or just crawling around on the ground.
      Thank you for your well-wishes, hope you have a great week-end, take care.

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  13. Hope it warms up for you soon, Helene. Apart from the very rare picturesque weekend away, I hate the cold. Our winter days rarely fall below 50 deg F (10C), and that's cool for enough for me.

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    1. I have high hopes for the second part of April, although that forecast is a bit far ahead and things can change a lot by then.

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  14. Over here, it is not the cold that we are complaining about, but the rain. We had heavy thunderstorms when we shouldn't have, like in past years. In February past, it used to be very hot, with intense sunshine, but now it seems that the tropical monsoon which raged around the end of the year just won't leave us.

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    1. It seems we all have weather we are not supposed to have!

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  15. I feel your pain Helene. I too woke up to snow this morning when I would really like to be digging in the dirt. This cold weather is just torture at this time of year.

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    1. We have at least another week with night frost ahead of us so I still can’t start sowing outdoors yet, so many tasks that’s just waiting to be done but depending on higher temperatures. I’m glad we don’t have any snow on the ground, the snow that came didn’t lie for long, hope yours will go away quickly :-)

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  16. Brr that's cold! Surely the end must be in sight soon. Here in NZ we just had an amazing summer, not so great for all as drought was declared across much of the country, but nice for most of us to enjoy our summer holidays. Easter weekend was warm and beautiful. Then this weekend, daylight savings ended and cold, drizzly weather arrived. And I realised that winter is on the way. Well, I guess we've finished with the warm weather, so I hope it's on the way to you!
    PS Your garden looks pretty in the snow!

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    1. I think spring is slowly arriving, I have been out in the garden today - with lots of clothes on, but when the bleak sun was shining it was lovely :-)

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  17. We had the coldest March in 13 years and last years March was the warmest in 12. So strange! My garden is just now waking up a bit. I go out and putter a bit just trying to do anything I can outside.

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    1. And so do I too! It's not really any work for me to do, I have been washing and painting pots today, and yesterday I varnished the garden furniture - normally I am far too busy at this time of year to do things like that!

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