After the storm

It’s a maybe gardening day today, blowing a mild gale (Force 7 about 35 mph), a little on the chilly side at 6°C with the threat of rain so the domestic chores win. However, I might just sneak out down to the polytunnel to water the seeds and give my tomatoes some encouragement. I’m determined to do better with the tomatoes this year so each plant is being personally supervised – daily health checks and a controlled diet!
We had a be careful what you ask for storm at the weekend, I’d been musing about needing some rain and so I got it by the bath full with a stiff breeze thrown in for good measure. So if you want to know what happens to plants when hit by 70 mph winds for 24 hours:

Garlic and shallots

Garlic and shallots

Allium-cowanii
Allium cowanii

The aquilegias are on the critical list, the young knifophias have multiple amputations and most of the geraniums have second degree burns but should pull through.
According to Dr Johnson “a balanced life requires a man to be a serious and devout scholar in his study, and a lively and amusing companion when at large in society, getting the best of both worlds”. So I try not to jump up and down and shake my fist at the wind gods, burst into tears and declare my life to be ruined or shut myself in the shed with a bottle of gin and application forms to emigrate to Australia or anywhere with sunshine.
So to all the gardener’s who are experiencing a cold spring complete with rain, hail snow or drought – take heart you could be living in the Outer Hebrides where it is always like this and your garden will recover, mine always does.

Knifophia

Survival of the fittest

Now where did I put that book on gardening in the Bahamas?

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23 thoughts on “After the storm

  1. Your poor Knifophia looks like it battled hard!
    I often think of you when it gets a bit gusty down here… you are to be admired and I’m sure that your tomatoes will enjoy the extra attention!

    • My poor knifophias – they were dumped by the gate four years ago and I’ve been promising to move them ever since. You have to admire their tenacity – anywhere else they can be a real thug, but I love them.

  2. I must come back here whenever I feel that gardening up a hill in north wales is difficult. Clearly it is a walk in the park compared with where I could be and the numerous plants which I have lost are a mere bagatelle. I am learning to be more philosophical and more accepting of what wants to be here but I have more to learn from Dr Johnson!

    • I had some doubts about writing this post and I hope the effect is to inspire. The only way to cope with extreme gardening is to try and cultivate a calm attitude and dig your heels in and refuse to be beaten. Obviously I do jump up and down in the odd tantrum and get desolate when another batch of plants doesn’t make it. I am learning all the time – and spending a fortune on seed!

    • Thank you for the sympathy. I’m always amazed about the ability of plants to recover and I’m often surprised when a very dead looking plant manages to put up a new shoot.

    • Definitely not tragic – but extremely annoying! it is only a setback and I’ve seen worse. Planticru – nice idea, but we’re still recovering from rebuilding the garden walls 3 years ago!

  3. I can’t believe you’ve got your tomatoes in. What varieties are you growing? Those I do here have to have minimum 15C before they do anything. Dr. Johnson probably had someone else do his gardening for him. I say a good gin and tonic never hurt, and crop failure on the back 40 is an excellent reason to cut up a lime and dream of warmer climates.

    • Dr Johnson was definitely not a gardener but he did make a tour of the Hebrides, quite an adventure in the 18th century. Tomatoes just producing first flowers -so looking good at present. Gardener’s delight is the most reliable. I’m also growing Lucola (plum) and Tropical Ruby (cherry) – still searching for perfection!

  4. I love the photo of that knifophia battered and broken, but soldiering on. An alternate title might be “Outer Hebrides Spirit.” Wishing you some sunshine and mild breezes in the weeks to come.

    • Bit like me really, but I think mine has something to do with advancing years! Beautiful weather all this week, calm and sunny, at last my plants are starting to grow.

  5. Just wanted to say hello. Wandered in from … oh heck, not sure, but fascinating to learn the trials and tribulations of gardening at 57∘ I thought things were bad in West Cumbria but by comparison we have it easy.

    A few weeks ago you mentioned the foul shade of green so beloved of windbreak netting suppliers. I’ve found an excellent version in black – http://www.QVSshop.co.uk. Doesn’t sound like a gardening treasure trove but I have ordered from them a few times and once when I phoned, spoke to the chap who owns it. Very impressed, no affiliation, bla bla bla. Please feel free to email me if you want to know exactly which one we used (it’s on my blog too).

    • Welcome, please feel free to wander in anytime. i don’t have the monopoly on tough gardening conditions, West Cumbria is no walk in park climate wise!
      Thanks for the tip – unfortunately we seem to have enough of the vile green stuff to cover the entire croft. At present there is a veto on its use, but I suspect I’ll have to give in! Thanks for the site link – I’ll investigate.

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