I’m sitting here listening to the sound of a steady, but not too heavy rain falling. It just seems a little odd. We have had very little rain since December and there are all these reports about how dry the summer was, breaking records all over the place. But I won’t bore you with details about the drought as I could go on forever because in extreme weather there is so much information available.
With ‘normal’ weather, no one bats an eye. There aren’t news reports about how we have had normal weather for more than 10 days in a row. No one talks about it when they meet up in the street –“Oh what normal weather we are having…” People take it for granted.
But we gardeners are in tune with the weather because the plants tell us what is going on – a limp looking tomato plant soon lets us know there hasn’t been rain in ages and it wants a drink, carrots floating away tells us there is too much water. But drought aside, my summer garden wasn’t too bad and I have a freezer full of fresh produce waiting for a cold bleak winters day to remind us all of how lovely summer was. Having said that I think I took the endless sunny days a tiny bit for granted as now that it’s raining I am disappointed that I can’t go out and garden whenever I’m ready to. I have to work around the weather. But I have things to do and I might not be able to get out there when the rain stops.
Now that last statement may seem a little selfish, being as this is exactly the kind of rain needed to break a drought and heal the earth – a soft steady rain that will slowly soak into the parched soil, restoring it to normal conditions. It’s just after over three months of gardening whenever I want, I’ve been a little spoilt and some may say I’ve become set in my ways. I need to adapt again. I need to add weather watching as part of my gardening routine, not just to avoid the rain, but as autumn creeps on by there will be that inevitable first frost. Although that seems a million miles from now.
So as the rain continues to fall, I need to plan what to do for when there is a break in the clouds. I need to hang up the new hanging baskets I made. The summer ones had completely given up the ghost and so I have made winter friendly ones with alyssum, viola, and primula’s . A nice splash of colour for those dark days ahead.
I need to continue harvesting the pumpkins and get them stored away; the chillies and peppers show no signs of letting up and harvesting is required regularly; I have winter crop seedlings that aren’t all that far away from being planted in “big plants garden.” The cooking apples and the quince are nearly ready so I’ll need to figure out what to do with them and the orchard has things that need doing to it.
I need to take down the tomatoes – although this, as always, is the last job on the list because while there are still tomatoes in the garden – no matter how manky, I can still kid myself that we are having an extended summer and winter is miles away! There is loads that needs to be done, and heaps that can be done. But for now I will patiently wait for the rain to end and be grateful that the drought appears to finally have broken.
Come again soon – we are well into autumn and I’m OK with that – I can still garden, but I may just get wet!
Sarah the Gardener : o )