A Stormy End to 2015

So much rain. And gales. Storm after storm.

Although our garden is an absolute soggy mess, we’re the lucky ones, our home is dry and our animals are safe. We enjoyed Christmas without the worry of the weather outside our windows. Despite the many storms, temperatures are mild throwing nature into disarray. The wildlife ponds here are still heavily populated with frogs, usually they’re nowhere to be seen until February or March. I wonder if we’ll see some super early spawn? Daffodils are reportedly in flower across some counties which is crazy for December, butterflies are on the wing during dry days and bumblebees buzz angrily across the garden, looking just as confused as I am.

garlic growing
Garlic pushing up through the soil in the winter vegetable garden, guaranteed to put a smile on your face and stir the excitement of the growing year ahead. Even if the weather is awful, garlic rarely disappoints. A great crop to grow during the dreary months.

However, the vegetable garden offers the promise of food, which is always something to smile about. The first crops to make an appearance in our new vegetable garden are garlic and broad beans, constant mild temperatures ensured a successful germination ratio with the broad bean seed, just two seeds failed which is good going for me. I don’t hold a trophy for overwintering the humble broad bean.

If our broad beans make it through storm ‘Frank’ without drowning (he’s howling furiously and tipping HEAPS of rain down as I type this blog post) and the coming months too, after sowing another batch in spring we’ll be rich in beans. Rich I tell thee!

During a recent trip to a garden centre to buy a family birthday card (I know, odd choice but they do offer a great selection of cards and I couldn’t face the ‘sale crowds’ in the usual well-known card stores!) I spotted the net bags of early seed potatoes, the very thought of plunging the dear little things into our soggy garden made my top lip curl, so I passed on by, empty-handed.

light sussex pullet

I should mention the chickens seeing as the weather is so poor. They’re all doing well, even the oldies. Thankfully they’re tucked up warm and dry in their roofed enclosures although I think they’d prefer to be drinking from a muddy puddle, or pecking at the broad beans. On good days they roam, stormy days they’re in. I can’t risk them being blown over to the neighbours gardens. Just one hen going through a heavy moult at the moment, but she’s feathering up quickly rather than dragging it on, as some do. We’re collecting 4 or 5 eggs a day which is plenty for our needs, the pullets laying most days.

Well, I hope you had a great Christmas dear reader. The blog has been a bit quiet through most of this year I know, but the new vegetable garden is at last a real thing rather than a sketch on paper. I can’t wait to properly get my fingers in the soil and grow some lovely fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers for the pollinators.

Heartfelt sympathy to those dealing with flooding. Stay safe and Happy New Year xx

 

17 comments

  1. The weather here in the U.S. is odd as well this year. Here in Michigan we are usually a foot deep in snow at this point. Somehow, up until two days ago, we have had nothing but rain and 50-60 degree weather. Everything is confused. I’ve heard some fruit trees in states south of us have started blooming. It’s going to be a rough year for the orchard if they decide to break dormancy.

  2. Oh our weather here in the South (US) has been much the same—super super wet–deluge after deluge–flooding, early, too early, budding trees, etc.
    I too have seen bumblebees and the occasional helter skelter butterfly—all of which is so crazy in December—it does worry me about Jan. and Feb—the old farmer’s almanac has us turning very cold in both Jan and Feb—which for here, often spells ice—but we shall see. I just haven’t enjoyed this unseasonable warmth—nor the wet mold and mildew sprouting up here and there—keep the girls dry!!! and a very happy New Year

  3. It definitely was here! We had an unusually cold October. We received almost a foot of snow in one night a few days before Thanksgiving and since then it’s been 40-55 degrees and sunny. All the plants think winter was short this year.

  4. *double like* I’m glad to hear that you are bearing the storms! This super el nino year will prove to be a challenging one! I love your hen, she’s so pretty. I also love the sweet bokeh you have on your garlic photo. Well done master of depth of field!

  5. I have to say having had a couple of weeks off I’m grateful that we’ve had no snow in Hampshire, UK. Not that I don’t like snow but just the ice that follows. So for me I’ve been enjoying the mild weather but agree the garden is somewhat confused.
    Happy New Year to you. ;)

  6. Oh winter weather is such a mixed bag of elements! I really dislike ice conditions, snow is pretty to watch as it falls but after that it’s a nuisance! Happy New Year to you Kitty, thanks for stopping by :)

  7. I often buy greetings cards from the garden centre – not a daft place to buy them at all.
    We too count our blessings at not living in a flood area as we have watched on TV the horrendous situation that some have found themselves in.
    Martyn was a bridge engineer and so is also glad that being retired he doesn’t have to deal with collapsed and damaged bridges.

  8. We have been reading (here in the US) about the floods in the UK. I hope everyone comes through it okay. The weather has been quite strange here as well. I was visiting my in-laws in New Jersey and there was an ornamental cherry tree in full bloom two doors down and roses blooming near the beach. So strange. Winter finally arrived here in New England though, so perhaps things won’t be too muddled up. Happy New Year! I always enjoy reading about your garden.

  9. I just can’t deal with the crowds grabbing at the cheap Christmas cards, so a gentle stroll around the garden centre appeals to me. Somehow, seed packets manage to find their way into the basket……oops!

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