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Wintery weather

Posted: Monday 25 March 2013
by James Alexander-Sinclair

If I had a shiny new pound for every person who has said to me, “Remember last year? We were all swanning around in shorts in March” I would be well on my way towards buying myself a very handsome dinner.


If I had a shiny new pound for every person who has said to me, “Remember last year? We were all swanning around in shorts in March” I would be well on my way towards buying myself a very handsome dinner. This March, I look out of my window and there are flurries of snow whipping off the roofs, and a rather disgruntled chicken is scuffling about like a well-wrapped babushka haggling in a street market in Minsk.

Gardeners are obsessed with weather. It’s often too dry, too wet, too cold, too hot, not snowy enough, etc. This fascination serves two purposes - firstly, it always gives us something to talk about. Secondly, it gives us something to worry about.

I have been struck by a very obvious revelation: there is no point in worrying, because there is absolutely nothing we can do about the weather. Mankind has discovered, over millennia, that the weather will do whatever it wants to do, completely untroubled by the feeble protests of people. Our ancestors sacrificed all manner of unfortunates to try and ensure a perfect harvest. Many magic spells have been cast and incantations woven, but the weather can’t be changed.

While we can do nothing to stop it being horrible, we can still find ways to keep ourselves busy. As I write, my garden is completely sodden and the best thing I can do is stay well away. If I walk about on borders - which is what I should be doing during spring - then the ground will become compacted and I will be storing up troubles for later in the season. I could use this as an excuse to loaf around watching old films, but then nothing gets done.

So, instead I will spend the afternoon in my mother-in-law’s greenhouse as my wife’s loyal assistant. The vegetable garden is her bailiwick, and I am there to move things and do what I am told. There is a large box of seed packets which need sorting and sowing, too. We shall return home later with glowingly healthy cheeks and a feeling of satisfaction.

It won’t stop me worrying or complaining about the weather though, that would be quite unnatural.





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oldchippy 04/04/2013 at 14:37

Hi James 4th April and still snowing here in Ewell.

André 04/04/2013 at 15:03

Spuds and onion sets are still waiting for soil to warm up

Cheerypeabrain 04/04/2013 at 15:30

Same here....I'm in the East Midlands. Today it's perishing cold and we've had a few snow flurries altho nothing has settled. I went out to the GH and brought lots of the seedlings back into the conservatory where it is warmer.  I have decided to just observe how the seedlings/plants are behaving and react accordingly One thing tho...they're not particularly leggy and the leaves that are there are healthy...so they're getting enough light, it's just the temperature that's a problem. On Tuesday and Wednesday it was lovely with bright sunshine...out of the wind it was positively warm...today it's back to winter again...

bramble lover 04/04/2013 at 15:35

freezing cold here and trying to snow, when is it due to warm up?

Flower bird 06/04/2013 at 18:43

Today has felt really warm on the Wirral, actually feels springish, haven't had my heating on yet. Feel as if I want to go to Ness Gardens later in the week with it being so nice today. Checked the forecast for the coming week and the temps are slowing creeping up......please God the warmer weather is now on its way.

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