Monday, 12 June 2017

dratted wind

I am not the only one to find the constant wind exasperating.  I met some old beekeeping friends for coffee, and one recounted how she and her husband had planted courgettes through a piece of landscape fabric, to keep the weeds at bay and the developing fruits clean.  Alas, one edge of the fabric was not securely fastened down and the wind lifted it, dragging the stems of the courgette plants through the planting holes and stripping off every leaf.

Here, it feels as though the pots are drying out before I've finished watering them, and the wind will be drying all that useful rain out of the soil.  Hoping vaguely that the weather will settle down soon, I am uncomfortably aware that there's no reason why it should.  I remember one sailing holiday when the shipping forecast never had less than a force seven in it for some part of the British Isles in the next twenty-four hours for the entire fortnight.  Once it settles to a pattern of lows blowing in from the west it can go on that way for weeks.

The Phlomis italica recovered from the heavy storm far better than I expected it would once it dried off, but now the poor old fig is looking awfully battered, just at the point when it should be most luxurious.  Its big leaves have developed a vaguely tatty air from days of being blown around, and the stems are starting to lean away from the house, a reaction to the wind bouncing back off the wall.  One of this morning's gathering had to pick all her peony flowers for vases after the wind bent and flattened every stem at the point where they touched the top of the plant support, and another had her plants flattened entirely while for good measure the flowers were browned and balled by the rain so they weren't even any use for picking.

I am having to soak all the pots of cottage pinks, which have dried out dreadfully in the wind.  I spent this afternoon trimming off the dead and damaged leaves and staking the flower stems with florists' canes.  I have no idea why these are manufactured in such a lurid shade of green.  I'd much rather have had black, but bright green was all that the Clacton garden centre had.  They will fade in time, but that's no consolation at this minute.  Tomorrow the pots are going to a new home along the path to the formal pond in the front garden, since they are getting too shaded by the Eleagnus hedge in the back.  The hedge needs cutting back hard, but that will have to wait until the birds have finished nesting and the wild flowers in the daffodil lawn have done their stuff.  At the moment it's mainly ox eye daisies, but I am hoping that the knapweeds and mallows I planted last autumn will do something at some stage, if they survived the dry spell and if the grass has not overpowered them.

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