Saturday 21 April 2012

Be careful what you wish for....

Here in London we have had the driest two winters on record, and after the snow we had in the first week of February it hardly rained a drop. Finally the government decided that we were to have water restrictions and a hosepipe ban introduced on the 5th April as our water storages are at the lowest on record. I am on a water meter and pay per litre for water I use, so I really hoped we would get some rain soon for my parched garden as the free stuff from above doesn’t come at any cost or any work at all.

And what happened? The day the hosepipe ban was introduced it started raining, and it has rained almost every day since – for more than 2 weeks, not necessarily the whole day, and not always so effectively, but we have had some rain almost every day. Between mid February and 4th April I dragged the hosepipe out and watered my garden many times, something that is not necessary at all in a ‘normal’ winter/spring. From 5th April I haven’t needed to water at all. Not once. Nada.

Courtesy of:

And here is the weather forecast for the next 10 days of this glorious spring of 2012, where I was meant to spend as much time as I could in my garden....OK, so I’m not exactly complaining, it’s great that it is raining! My garden really needs it and I don’t even think another 10 days will be enough to get the ground saturated and back to normal. The water is free and I don’t have to do anything to spread it around. But....but! Although I am a keen gardener, I keep indoors when it is bucketing down; I might be keen, but not that keen! So today I have tried dodging the rain and go outside whenever there was a break in the showers, after 6 attempts I gave up! My cat gave up much sooner, he couldn’t be bothered coming out with me again after shower number 3 stopped so he just stayed indoors the rest of the day :-)

A lot of the showers we have had are just mist, enough to get you wet after a while, but not really the kind that drenches the ground. But we have had really heavy downpours too so hopefully this will eventually make a difference. And last week we even had 5 minutes of hail!

OK, enough moaning about the weather, I really am pleased we have got some rain! Another few weeks of this, and then it can stop :-) And perhaps the correct authorities now can learn a lesson from this: whenever there is a drought, introduce a hosepipe ban, that will make it rain for weeks on end! Until next time, take care.


  1. have considered calling Thames water and asking them to lift the ban so it can stop raining for a while. The wet may be good but if only it were warmer

  2. Hi Helene
    I read your post with great interest and sympathy. We have also had a very dry spring - the garden beds are all dry and dusty. So I too have wished for rain. Well - tomorrow they predict 5-8 cm of….SNOW! Oh no!!!!! But it will melt quickly, I'm sure. The weather is always a huge influence for us gardeners, regardless where we live. Maybe I'll just go out and shoot photos of how my poor tulips and daffs look surrounded by the white stuff. Sigh…..hope you get some sun soon.

  3. Great to have the rain but wish it would come at night time so we can get out in the garden without being drenched during the day. Maybe I should wish hard for us both! x

  4. Always good advice, Helene! Sorry to hear you've had extremes. Maybe things will settle into more moderate mode in the next few days. It's nice to have sunny days and rainy nights. Here we also had a slight drought for about two weeks, and now back to some sunny days. Hope your plants all make it through just fine.

  5. The problem is, the water companies don't read the small print when they issue these drought orders. They really shouldn't have copied in 'the rainmaker.' We've had nothing but rain, since we were declared a drought area too. We've not got a hosepipe ban yet, but I've not seen anyone using a hosepipe around here either. Wonder why.

  6. Rain and convenience don't seem to go together in the same sentence. Where was all that wet and damp in February, when you didn't want to be outside anyway??? I'm glad you've had some much-needed moisture, Helene. Somehow I don't think a hosepipe ban would be quite as effective a rain-maker out here...


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