Saturday, 19 December 2015

Seventeen degrees


The almost unprecedented spell of mild weather continues unabated, and seems likely to extend into January. Although there was little sun, a warm moist wind has blown all day, with temperatures of  16-17oC through the middle of the day. Such temperatures are comfortable for us, and help on the fuel bills, but are not good for the garden or the wider environment; actively growing plants will be vulnerable if a hard frost comes. Fitting these temperatures, or other 'abnormal' weather into the picture of global climate change is difficult, but surely they are part of the complex jigsaw that is only going to get muddled further as time goes on.


Crocus laevigatus 'fontenyi' at RV Rogers nurseries, Pickering, at lunchtime - the flowers open as far as they would go without recurving.

Galanthus elwesii 'Mrs Macnamara' usually comes into flower in early January: it's at least two weeks early this year.

'the colder the weather is, and the deeper the snow is, the fairer and larger is the floure, and the warmer that the weather is. the lesser is the floure, and worse coloured' - astute observation by John Gerard in the 16th Century, confirmed by the miserable flowers of Eranthis hyemalis 'Lightning' just appearing.

Well-developed flowers on this seedling hellebore

The mild weather made it quite a pleasure to get outside and get on with cutting down the perennials. Strong winds earlier in the month had wrecked most of the standing stems, and the next season is coming on apace below, so there was no compunction in going for it.

The Silver Sebrights found good pickings around the bases of the perennials - they're particularly fond of young snails.

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