I really like years when there are distinct seasons, there’s a certain rhythm to it that brings contentment. I think it brings contentment because life is cyclical, everything that we do is based around repeating patterns. Each day repeats with its 24 hours, each week, each month, each year and each birthday. Imagine if we didn’t have a concept of time, how would we measure our existence apart from the changing from day to night and the wrinkles on our faces.
I think like most people, when I look back at my childhood I remember long hot summers that never seemed to end and long cold, snowy winters. Perhaps we romanticize our childhoods and it wasn’t always like that and our brains are just playing a trick on us. As I have got older it has seemed that the seasons have all blurred into each other, Winters seem mild and wet and Summers full of rain and inclement weather.
The bizarre weather of 2018
This year has been a strange one, it was preceded by what seemed like a very long Winter, it wasn’t particularly cold here, we didn’t have a metre of snow but it was windy and everything dried out and we lost quite a few plants in their dormant phase. Spring didn’t really appear, we went from Winter to Summer in the space of a couple of days. I still can’t get my head around a temperature change of 10 degrees celsius or more in a day, how does that work?
A long, hot and very dry summer
This summer has been gloriously hot but far too dry with next to no rainfall here for 3 months resulting in hours of watering and ultimately a dry well. Suddenly the weather changed from the upper 30’s to the lower 20’s. It’s like there’s a mad scientist or bond villain with the ability the change the weather in a heartbeat. If that is you, stop it now, OK.
A return to bio rhythm please
What we all need is a return to natural patterns of weather. Lets have a cool misty Autumn where the air is filled with the aroma of fermenting windfall apples and smoke from bonfires when gardeners are tidying up their gardens. Let us have a cold winter where frozen leaves crunch under our feet and rose hips glisten with frost in the morning. Let us have a slow and gentle awakening of nature in Spring, let crocuses and daffodils poke their heads above ground at the end of February and then flower for weeks in April. Let leaves on trees and hedges delight us with their slow awakening and please let that first green of Spring be a green that is unique to that moment, innocent, pure,full of hope and expectation.
But it’s not all bad
Ok so it’s been a crazy year for the planet, for people, for wildlife, for nature but for those with water it’s been a great year for fruit and a fantastic year for roses. Everyone I talk to about gardening say, “hasn’t this been a good year for roses?” and in fairness it has, roses love lots of sun and that is just what they got. I chose this year to create a new rose garden and it’s done really well, so maybe it’s me that has the crazy weather controlling technology (who would have though that behind my mild manner lurks an evil genius?)
My guide to success with roses
People often ask me what the secret to growing fantastic roses is and I’m happy to tell them, it’s not a trade secret after all. Here’s what I do, I feed them when the first leaves appear and then again when the first set of flowers are finished but most importantly I give them lots of water everyday. Like most plants, what roses need is plenty of water and sunlight. Roses need a minimum of 4 hours sunshine a day in the summer if they are going to thrive. Then when Autumn comes roses need a break, they need to go to sleep and rest, kind of a cyclical pattern right? Which brings us right back to where we started, bio rhythms and seasons.
Looking forward to Autumn days
So this week I will be getting my Wellington boots out of the cellar, dusting off my old clothes that can get muddy, torn and even singed by sparks from the many bonfires I intend starting. I will leave some piles of wood, twigs and compost as a refuge for wildlife though. If you have a vegetable patch or an allotment, enjoy the fruits of your labours and if you have some spare produce give something to somebody who hasn’t been bitten by the gardening bug. Let’s convert some new people to the wonderous world of gardening and nature. #make the world a better place.