Tuesday 4 October 2011

04.10. Hurricane and snow!

The mini heat-wave we had last week is well and truly over, but when I went to the hospital today I got a glimpse of the headlines of today’s newspapers, and they all wrote the same; about this coming week-end’s weather. If you don’t live in the UK, the following might come as a joke to you, but believe me, this is no joke, it is supposedly true, according to one newspaper: Britain will be feeling the cold as the unseasonable autumn temperatures drop by 18 degrees in just days and the tail-end of Hurricane Ophelia batters Scotland and the North of England. In the South, widespread frost will have the weekend's beach-goers wrapping up in scarves while storms and even snow lash the North!

Temperatures will be down from 27 to 18 degrees C in London on Wednesday. And the decline shows no sign of easing after that, especially in the North-West, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which lie in the path of Hurricane Ophelia. Government forecasters said nights will fall close to freezing in parts, with snow due in the Highlands from Friday, and threatening the Pennines next week. Frosts are expected by Thursday in the North and by the weekend in the South, with morning fog heightening the return to autumnal reality. Any sheltered spots, even in the South, could see frost by the end of the week.

It is quite a contrast to the weekend, when three-quarters of a million sun-worshippers visited beaches in Brighton and Bournemouth as Britain basked in the third hottest day of 2011, at 30 degrees C. At RAF Finningley in South Yorkshire on Saturday, forecasters MeteoGroup recorded 30 degrees C, with Gravesend in Kent reaching an exceptional 29.6. Both temperatures beat the record for October – 29.4 in Cambridgeshire in 1985 – and ensured the UK boasted better weather than almost all of Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the Sahara. Confused plants that have been flowering again in the unexpected sunshine will lower their heads again until the spring. We really have had a lot of extreme weather the last 2 years, more than enough for my taste!

I have been doing some more gardening the last few days, and last Sunday I had good help of two friends removing a concrete path in order to make a bigger bed on the left side of the garden. It was a lot of hard work and I could not have done that on my own, so thank you Gemma and Guido :-) Here is the new bed on the left side of the garden, finished with a log-roll border, but not many plants yet. I have lots of plants that can go in here, both smaller plants in pots, and bigger plants in tubs, but I have to take into consideration that this area doesn’t get much sunshine for most of the year. Ideally I should probably get some shade loving plants in between the larger shrubs, but it is tempting to try pushing it a bit and try for something more showy and impressive. One plant that doesn’t require an awful lot of sunshine is lilies, and I love lilies, especially the scented one, and since this bed is so near to the seating area it would be just perfect to have some scented lilies here. One can never have too many lilies, right? Just have to keep up the patrolling looking for those dreaded lily beetles….

And this was as far as I got today, it does look a bit as a building site at the moment, but this is only temporary, I plan to continue tomorrow. As you can see, the concrete path is gone on the left side, and I have started removing the grass, which is not that bad at this time of year as I don’t water the grass at all so the roots are quite shallow. If I had done this job in February the grass and the roots would have been a three times thicker layer, plus had been three times as heavy to lift, laden with water. Still, it is a heavy job, and I am sitting down doing it, as standing up is too hard for me, so it is a bit awkward and I certainly feel it in my arms :-)

I really enjoy pottering about in my garden, I don’t actually consider it work as such; vacuuming, dusting and washing floors are work, gardening is not work, that’s just fun :-) It keeps me sane and I regard my garden as the most important room in my house. I can’t wait to get out there and continue the renovation work, it is like a very interesting book; I can’t wait to see how it ends! I will make sure to keep you updated on the progress too, just keep checking in every now and then, until next time, take care.

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