7 Feb 2012

One day winter

Well, it was fun while it lasted. After freezing nights and a great deal of anticipation, our 3 inches of settled snow properly lasted only one day. (Although I may be speaking too soon.)

Yesterday the streets nearby had started to turn to a nasty slush and the air temperature was relatively mild, considering there was thawing snow on the ground.  Who knows what the rest of February has in store? But, just in case that snowfall is all we're having of winter, I thought I'd best take a few snaps for posterity.

Monarda seedhead
~ Monarda seed head against the snow.  The green is fennel. ~

Foxy footprints
~ Footprints show that a fox has visited, as have several little birds. ~
This photo reminds me that I need to cut back my autumn fruiting raspberry canes. This is a job which should be done very soon, otherwise last year's canes will begin to grow and the idea is to have a better harvest by cutting at least half of them back.  (I'm experimenting with a tip to see the difference between cutting some to the ground and leaving some at 40 cm - should give me an earlier crop. )

Winter veg patch
~ The winter veg patch ~
And here's the veg patch in the snow.  Looks a bit of a mess and reminds me that there's a lot of work to be done once the ground thaws. The lovely thing is that if I look back in a few months, this view will have completely changed. I'm thinking about what to plant where in order to make best use of the space and, rather excitingly, our new Director of Housing has said that he's all for expanding the space into a kitchen garden! ... but perhaps I should have got that in writing. The cot sides and trellis panels, by the way, were all found over the summer months discarded by the road and dragged back as quick protection to keep cats out of newly planted beds.  I must plan a way to fix them from toppling over because they do work.

And I couldn't leave this post without a pic of the snowman that the kids made, could I?  This chap was resisting the thaw yesterday and standing guard over the other end of the garden. One benefit of living on an estate where there's plenty of clean snow for building with!

The Snowman
Flowerpot fez, dogwood arms and bark chipping for eyes.
(Coal is a bit hard to come by around here!)
Without wishing to sound too curmudgeonly, I'm quite pleased that the snow has almost gone.  Things are definitely easier without it, although I suppose the children were hoping for a few days off school.  (Our schools remained open, thank goodness.)




24 comments:

  1. I'll be interested to hear how your experiment with the Raspberries goes. I always cut mine down right to the ground.
    We have had precious little snow, but we have had some very hard frosts.

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    1. Luckily we're escaping lightly on both fronts. Bit more snow last night but nothing to get concerned about. I had a closer look at the raspberries yesterday and they've just started to bud so it'll be my first job this weekend!

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  2. Great snowman. The snow is still clinging on here, it makes walking the dog quite treacherous as it's very compacted and slippy now.

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    1. Jo be very careful if it's icy! It's so easy to do real damage if you fall; I know as I put my back out a couple of years ago by falling badly - and rather inelegantly - on my bottom in the snow. Hopefully it will soon be over!

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  3. Great snowman,love the flowerpot fez. I'm glad the snow didn't last long here although it is still bitterly cold. Thanks for the comments about the garden course. It can be really difficult to find just the right course for what you want. I did the RHS levels 2 and 3 at college partly because I wanted the qualification. I did enjoy them but they were hard work and annoyingly quite geared towards more agriculture than horticulture in some aspects. I can't imagine I will ever use the info on large scale, commercial carrot production!!! And because the government has cut subsidies to adult education courses are becoming increasingly expensive. So much for Lifelong Learning.

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    1. Me too Welly, the kids can be very imaginative when they want! Your review was very apt and I can only hope that, with the trend towards home-based veg gardening, colleges will start to offer more relevant courses. I fear my September "garden expert" course will be more about lawns than shrubs - and, as you say, it can be an expensive mistake if you don't get the right course.

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  4. I didn't make it to our allotment when the snow first came so I have no idea what is going on there. I'm sure I'll be in for a surprise. Our snow has turned to horrible ice on the pavements and there is black ice on the roads. The temperature is plummeting again and there may be more flurries of snow. When it starts to get dangerous the magic wears off for me.

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    1. I absolutely agree - black ice, very nasty. I live at the bottom of a hill and when it gets bad it makes getting out and about very treacherous. Hope all is well at the allotment when you can get there - at least the frosts will have done the soil some good!

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  5. Yes, our snow is on the way out also. The chickens were pretty bemused by it for a couple of hours but they soon began wobbling about in it. It seems to have flattened most of my broad beans but they usually bounce back pretty quickly. It's all a bit icy this morning though as compacted and slightly melted snow has been frozen solid by the minus temps we had last night.

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    1. The veg that I want to keep seems to be surviving (herbs, caulis, garlic). Thankfully haven't sown anything else yet - onions still to be done and still considering whether to do broad beans this year. Our snow has mostly gone, even last night's little flurry had disappeared by midday today so can't complain!

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  6. Just love your snowman, you certainly had plenty of the white stuff to make him! Like your idea with the cot sides and trellis, cats can be such a nuisance when ground has been cleared, it takes brains to outwit them !!

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    1. Thanks Pauline, the trellis does work and can look pretty - in moderation - but is hard to come by. It'll be back to the netting again this year once my seedlings are in.

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  7. The snow seems to have doen a body swerve round this part of Scotland. But it's still too icy to do anything outside. Like Mark I cut the raspberry canes to the ground. I'm all for other people experimenting...

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    1. Amazing that we get snow in the south but Scotland didn't! Lucky you, although I don't like ice either! Roll on spring time!

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  8. An enjoyable wintry post, and good photos.
    I don't think that you're being curmudgeonly at all, or we both are! Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty - it's all gone now (been a while since I visited the blog), thank goodness! Can't wait until the weather warms up to begin planting!

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  9. Have you heard about councils cutting off the heads of snowmen built in parks supposedly to protect the grass?!

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    1. Are you serious? That's not very sporting of them - and I really can't see the logic behind it ... mind you nothing would surprise me. I heard that Camden council cut down a pear tree in a private garden last year because a pear fell on a passer-by's head! (What is the world coming to!!)

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  10. Here in the 'sunny South' Winter has lasted over a week, with new snow falls Thursday night. However, sunshine on Saturday, a bit of rain Sunday evening and rising temperatures means a lot of snow is melted and the rest should be gone soon.

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    1. Hi Karin, I think that we just have to go with the flow weather wise until it all settles down. We've had fairly wintry weather here - cold, windy, wet, etc. Fairly typical for the time of year so no complaints!

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  11. A mess? Your garden looks clean and tidy!

    We had our first (and possibly last) dusting of snow for the winter last weekend but it lasted only hours. I'm glad though since it happened right before the Seed Swap!

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    1. Ah, sweet of you to say so Tanya! The winter garden shows all its flaws and looks much better chock full of lovely veg! I think we've had our last snow here as well, although can still be caught out by frosts. Currently got wet and windy (my least favourite weather). Am SO hoping it will warm up soon!

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  12. All I can say is that since I turned 40, I have grown to hate the cold. Growing up, I preferred winter over summer; now, I count the days until Spring! Mary

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  13. Hello Mary, thanks for leaving a comment! I also look forward to spring, seeing the garden burst into new life and planning what to grow. I don't mind any form of weather but do object to the inconvenience of snow and ice, especially since falling in the snow a few years ago and putting my back out!

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