Winter flower?

Geranium plant today and a week ago. The poor thing has flopped because the cells have been frozen with ice in them. Only woody stemmed plants and evergreens have survived the coldest areas around the house. Some of the ones snuggled together have just about survived but snow and mist is forecast.

I am sad to lose the lovely flowers, but it’s only natural for this to happen. I’m glad I had time to enjoy them into December. X

Gone!

Minus 7.7°C in Shropshire last night, and below freezing locally. My Nasturtiums which were still in flower yesterday have collapsed in little siddy heaps. Their plant cells have all burst as the fluid inside them expanded into ice crystals. I knew it would happen, I was hoping to still have some in flower at Christmas.

The Jet Stream up in the sky has settled below England to our south and low pressure systems are pulling down cold air from the North of Britain. We are expecting freezing conditions for at least up to the weekend. By then the damage to my plants will be done. I haven’t got any garden fleece to protect the plants, I can only hope having plants close together will help some of them survive. X

December Fushias

Fushias in flower outside Portmeirion pottery. In December!

I took this photo today because I was amazed at how many flowers were blooming on the fushia bushes outside our local pottery. The leaves have wilted a little and I’m expecting it to be clobbered by the cold because we, are due freezing weather over the next few days. But its December, this is not normal. Its getting dark earlier every day and we have a chilly northerly wind blowing. It’s not proof of global warming, but it makes you think!

Summer

When it’s warm, not hot, when the scent from plants wafts gently in the air. Then it’s time to visit the Dorothy Clive Garden in Staffordshire. It’s on the border of Shropshire and Cheshire. As you look down from the tea rooms you can look down over the three counties. It’s pleasant to sit out on the lawn with sandwiches and a cup of tea or scones and jam and cream. I’m imagining that I’m there now. That the cold chill in our living room is actually a gentle breeze blowing over the hill behind us and cooling me down! I might even indulge in an ice cream from the tea room. We would definitely be buying plants to take back to our garden.

The Dorothy Clive Garden was created in memory of her. It is built mainly on a slope with perennial plants in beds around beautiful and unusual trees. Some of the plant combinations are spectacular. There is also a quarry garden filled with trees and rhododendron bushes in glorious flower in the spring. There is a lovely view of a waterfall in the bowl of the quarry garden. Then an extended area of the gardens with drought resistant planting and a laburnum walk under planted with purple Alliums rings the changes. This year we also visited a hothouse with tropical plants at the lower part of the garden. It’s a good place to visit on a summers day.

Seed heads

I’ve collected some seeds from seed heads, including poppies and nasturtiums and marigolds. I need to store them in a cool dry place and I think they will be OK in a kitchen drawer. I need to remember that are there, if not they will be wasted, also when to plant them, I guess I will Google that, or look on the back of seed packets when we go to a garden center.

Summer has gone

The back yard in summer, there are still a few flowers out there now at the end of November, but nowhere near how these looked. Summer is a wonderful season if you live in the northern or southern latitudes you have that wait when the sun gets lower in autumn and only returns in the spring. I’m sure equatorial countries have some variations, but I don’t think there is such a change in temperature and light. I think plants bloom all year round. I wonder how climate change might effect plants. Will we have continuous blooms even through the winter? What have we done to the world?

Cold, will it snow?

The skies have cleared and the rain has stopped, the temperature has fallen without the clouds holding the warmth in. In some places its due to be foggy and frosty. November had been unseasonably warm. My hanging baskets have literally hung on, with flowers and leaves surviving and the odd bee bumbling around. Now though I’ve actually put the heating on, I also had the oven on to cook yes (might as well heat the house and cook food at the same time.

A national newspaper has reported we should be having six inches of snow, but the real weather forecast is for the temperature to rise again slightly.

In amidst all of this the Ecological Cop27 meeting has just gone back on some of its resolutions to reduce global warming. Major oil and gas producers have pushed for natural gas not to be treated as a greenhouse gas! I’m not sure of the whole story as I only heard a bit on the news, but I think it’s despicable that vested interests can be allowed to harm humanities future because they want their profits.

In the meantime I will continue to plant trees and try and do my bit to reduce my carbon footprint.

November tomatoes

On a tomato plant at the back of the yard. Eight tomatoes in November. We have eaten four but we are waiting for the rest to ripen. But it’s NOVEMBER! How on earth have they lasted this long.

Tomorrow the weather forecast is for temperatures of 19°C. That’s about 8°C above normal. The COP 27 Climate change conference just discussed trying to keep temperatures from going above 1.5°C higher than before the industrial revolution. Only a small rise, but enough to cause damage and disaster. So what? Flooding in costal cities across the world, dangerous increases in the ferocity of hurricanes, tornados and typhoons. Melting icecaps and glaciers. We must all try and do something about it.

Passion flower

Yesterday in a garden centre, at the end of October we found this passion flower still in bloom. Its amazing how warm it has been over the last few weeks in Britain. Lasr week it was about 23° Centigrade in London and 19°s where we live. About 5 or 7° higher than usual. In some ways that’s good because we haven’t needed to put the heating on much. But it is unnatural. Apparently every month this year has been hotter than previous ones. Animals are not getting ready to hibernate, will they have enough food or energy to survive if the winter gets very cold. Who knows, it’s worrying.