England: That place where it always rains. April: The month famous for its showery weather. So where is it? The rain, I mean. Not that I’m complaining. Not one bit. But I’ve hardly seen a drop of the stuff this past three weeks and it’s starting to feel a bit strange. That feeling where going outside without a coat feels strangely naked… and not going outside feels like a terrible waste of good weather. #Britishproblems.
Three weeks ago, things were somewhat different. I spent a few days on the coast as March turned into April and the weather was extremely wild and windy. Not a good time to be on a beach unless you want a face full of sand! The ferocious March lion was showing no inclination towards curling up into a soft woolly ball or frolicking over the meadows with joyful tranquility. Rather, it roared across Somerset, tipping my mini greenhouse over for the second time in as many weeks.
The greenhouse – about 6ft tall by 3ft wide by 18 inches deep – is weighted at the bottom with a large bag of compost. However, the lion was feeling particularly wild that night and made short work of turning the thing on its front, despite the fact that he was supposed to be roaring through in the opposite direction. He goes where he will. Fortunately, I didn’t have much in the greenhouse at the time, but I’d started some bean and courgette plants and these were unceremoniously tipped out of their pots. The beans seemed to treat this as all in a day’s work. Not in the mood to be pushed around by some measly lion, they bravely turned their faces back up towards the light and awaited our return. This made them look decidedly peculiar when repotted right way up again! Three of the four courgette plants also survived the ordeal, although one is still looking rather small and pathetic. They are still in the greenhouse.
The beans have now been planted out in the garden, where five out of six seem to be thriving. (The sixth took rather more of a battering from the lion). Of course, they shouldn’t be thriving. By rights, the frost should have finished off what the wild winds started. But here in sunny, lowland Somerset, I seem to have got away with the early start so far. Despite the clear nights, the temperatures have stayed above freezing. As for the tomato plants, they looked singularly unimpressed when we got home. They weren’t in the greenhouse. They were on the kitchen window sill. However, we’d turned the heating down while we were away and it seems this wasn’t popular. The pepper plants had soldiered on bravely and were even heard to encourage the tomato plants to “just chill like us!” However, the tomato plants replied that chilling was precisely the problem and the pepper plants really ought to show a little more sympathy. They said they would be submitting a complaint to the management forthwith. Said complaint is now on file. I’ll be planting the tomatoes a little later next year. Ditto beans and French marigolds. Apparently, it doesn’t do to be too keen. The pepper plants have continued to grow quite nicely, even if they do believe in slow motion:
I don’t have a picture of the surviving tomato plants. But two are now looking good at about 8″ high and another two look like they aren’t going to be far behind. I’ve planted a few more seeds to make up for the losses and will wait to see what I end up with. Meanwhile, the past three weeks have seen a burst of new life in both countryside and garden. We came home to find the hedgerows tinted with green and the roadsides carpeted with celandines:
Three weeks later, the hedgerows have burst into life and the celandines in my garden have given way to forget-me-nots, daisies and bluebells:
The primroses have almost finished and the apple blossom is appearing on our little tree:
Spring is here 🙂 And, in case you’re wondering, the rain will be back at the weekend…