11 May 2013

Typical British spring weather!

Cherry blossom

Two days ago, on popping down to the gardens, I was astonished by the sight of the blossom on the fruit trees.  The warm sunshine had brought on a display that would have done a bridal florist proud.  Waves of foaming white blossom graced both cherry trees; the apple blossom, although less prolific, was equally beautiful.

Apple blossom

Yesterday, as with the rest of the UK, we were hit by gale force winds.  These have eased very slightly for today but I'm anticipating that there won't be much blossom left by the end of the weekend so I'm pleased that I took these photos for posterity.  Only time will tell if the flowers were pollinated in time to produce fruit this summer.  The pears and plums had already lost their blossom so I remain slightly hopeful of some of the trees producing.

For the past few years we've had a blast of warm weather followed by April showers and May gales.  I remember planting out my beans and sweet corn a couple of years ago after weeks of warm sunshine. The next day they were decimated by gale force winds and lashing rain and I had to resow.  This year, I'm being more cautious - I still have lots of seedlings on my balcony. They must go into the garden soon so, once the winds have died down, a nice bout of British late spring weather will do me nicely - and by that I mean cooler temperatures - around 12C (54F) - and plenty of showers.  I've appreciated the warm sunshine while it lasted but now it would be nice to return to a gentle move towards summer.  Well, a gardener can dream ... this is British weather, after all. (And Chelsea flower show starts in 10 days which is pretty well guaranteed to mix the weather up!)

18 comments:

  1. Gorgeous blossom - don't you just love this time of year - every day the garden changes. I am starting to harden everything off now in readiness for planting out plus I need the room in the greenhouse, it is getting a bit of a squeeze in there.

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    1. Oh yes, I do love springtime, Elaine! Despite the mad rush of work involved for gardeners. After months of grey skies and brown earth, it's fabulous to see greens and yellows, pinks and whites again! These months are a tricky time aren't they? All our hard work and now we have to see our little charges survive in the big garden, fingers crossed for kinder weather!

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  2. Blossom time is so special, not only does it look so lovely, but we can think of goodies to come during the winter from some of it! Let's hope the bees have been busy, I have plenty in the garden here but when I go up into the veggie area, there don't seem to be many.

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    1. I've only seen one or two bees, Pauline so I'm adopting the attitude of 'What will be, will be' - it will be nice to get fruit but, if not, I'm still glad the trees are there. Funny old year, weather wise; I need to put more winter nectar shrubs in the gardens.

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  3. Have you SEEN the weather forecast for this coming week??? They are saying that it may get down to 2C on Friday night, and before that we will have two days when the daytime temp will only be 11 or 12 and the night-time, 4! More like February than May. Yuck! How am I going to keep my poor tomatoes alive? :(

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    1. Haha! Your comment sent me scurrying off towards the BBC weather website, Mark! With the weather so topsy turvy, even the BBC aren't always getting it right - supposed to be raining yesterday afternoon so I rushed to gather in my washing at lunchtime and it was gloriously warm all day!! My toms are still only babies and sitting happily on my windowsills; hopefully it will be warmer by the time I have to plant them out; if not, they'll grow on the balcony where it's a bit warmer.

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  4. The blossom is so pretty. It's a bit of a gamble planting things out at this time of year, but leave them in their pots too long and they end up growing leggy. It hasn't been a very nice weekend weather wise here so I do hope it improves soon.

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    1. Leggy plants look so miserable don't they, Jo? There's also a finite window for potting on before the plants just stop growing and the soil runs out of nutrients. It can be so disheartening if time has been spent nurturing them but I'd take the gamble, cloche the plants if needed and hope for the best. Good luck with yours!

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  5. You don't need to buy ornamental trees for beauty do you and then there is the bonus - hopefully - of fruit.

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    1. Absolutely Sue - I love some of the flowering shrubs but edibles are always welcome! I'm striving for a good balance.

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  6. Sadly I think that most blossom will disappear this week if the weather forecast proves correct. I will be wanting to sow more seeds soon so like you would appreciated some settled weather. Flighty xx

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    1. Flighty, the worst of the gales seems to have left us and sadly your prediction is correct. I have lots of petals on the soil but hopefully nature will have done her job and I'll still have some fruit. I'm going to sow more at the weekend and pop a little tunnel cloche over the top for protection ... and keep on slug watch! C x

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  7. The blossom seems particularly good this year, I'm not sure why. Some trees are so laden they look like they might collapse under all the flowers. The weather is a bit of a nightmare though. I really wish I hadn't sown my French beans a few weeks ago. They're romping away with nowhere for them to go.

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    1. My beans germinated within 2 days, Welly! I was a bit shocked at the speed as I'd allowed 6 weeks before planting out - that might come sooner now! As I can't attribute the excess blossom to the good pruning I gave the trees, I can only assume that last year's rain and late warmth set up fruit trees for a good spring. I think we've all got used to warmer weather but the plants still know what season it is!

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  8. This weather is rubbish isn't it? I've been in France this week and it is all the same, bizarre weather all over the place. No chance to wear my sandals, boo hoo! Left my annuals outside on the patio, will have to see what state they are in when I get back. Left husband in charge of garden and he kindly applied copper tape around one of my hostas in pots but I could not expect hours of surveillance...something was mentioned about "small green insects" as well :-/.
    Got tickets for Chelsea this week, are you going?

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    1. I know what you mean, Claire - my sandals are staying firmly in the cupboard for now with Uggs still my footwear of choice for popping outside! Not too bad today, bright and dry - perfect for gardening, in fact! (must check for aphids and slugs!) - but the weather on Monday? Forecast to be absolutely pants! Pouring with rain all day and, yes, I am going to Chelsea! On Monday!! Ah well, I'll enjoy it anyway but my photos may be of artistically soggy flowers and gardens ... ;)
      Hope the weather is improved by the time you go.

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  9. Hi Caro! I hope your blossom survived the winds? My apple blossom is outstanding this year too. All that rain from last year has served a purpose I guess! It's just gorgeous stuff isn't it (blossom that is, not rain!!) Hope you're well :) x

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    1. Hi Anna! The gloomy spring goes on doesn't it? Never mind the winds, will we get enough sun to ripen any fruit that may form!! We seem to be a month behind - can't believe it's the longest day of the year in 4 weeks!! As an optimist, I feel sure it will all come right soon! Wishing you good weather up north :) xx

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