|The cottage garden getting soaked, again.|
Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
Since the hosepipe ban came into force at the begining of the month, it has tipped down most days in a way that seriously tests the temper of even a dedicated pluviophile. Chaucer could not have called these April showers 'sweet' - many have been mixed with vicious hail - but they have certainly done away with the drought of March. We received 27.5 mm of rain in March, and by this morning the April figure was at 126 mm. The underlying drought, we are told, will not be seriously alleviated by the current wet spell, but its horticultural effects are being staved-off for a while, at least, and one can again feel relaxed about planting things out. The soil, however, is wet, but not warm; April has been distinctly chilly and many flowers have remained fresh for far longer than would have been expected during the warm weather in March. Others, however have been wrecked, especially the tulips, many of whose flowers are sodden wrecks and whose leaves have been pockmarked by hail and then blasted by 'tulip fire'. The cool wet spell is forecast to continue well into next month, with a specially foul day predicted for Sunday.
|Tulipa 'Sapporo', wrecked by rain.|