Sunday, 15 November 2015

November GBBD – from a stormy London

It’s middle of November and our stormy season has just started, bang on schedule – with Storm Abigail. Here in London we have only noticed the storm as rather windy weather but spare a thought for Scotland where especially on the western side they had winds up to 80 miles per hour (128 km/h or about 70 knots). And only 12 hours after Abigail left, the remnants of Hurricane Kate is right now hitting our shores, dumping unusually high amounts of rain on us. Some places in Britain we can expect up to 250mmm of rain in 36 hours with subsequent flooding. Living here in London I feel rather lucky, sheltered from the worst of the weather, be it snow, rain, storms and flooding. The 10 minutes hailstorm I watched from my window yesterday seemed more like a curiosity and didn’t do any damage. And although it has been raining hard today there is no risk of flooding and the free water from above is just welcome in my garden.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

EOMV – London in October sunshine

This year seems to have flown away faster than any year – I know I keep saying time flies and that’s apparently part and parcel of getting older, but my goodness, someone must have given anabolic steroids or something similar to whatever keeps track of the seasons for us this year as I can’t ever remember it going this quickly before. I suppose some of it has to do with me moving house and everything that came with it before, during and after moving, but even so....even so! Only consolation I suppose is that I can hope the winter will pass just as quickly. I’ll be fine as long as I can find time to plant my almost 600 potted plants from my previous garden - and....erhm....a few hundred new bulbs that somehow managed to turn up despite that I had promised myself not to buy anything until I had planted everything I already had. Funny how that could happen. But hey, even though winter starts in 4 weeks, the first hellebore will start to flower in 2 months’ time in my garden, and it’s only 3-4 months till my garden will be filled with snowdrops, crocuses, Iris reticularis and other spring flowers. I know many people use the astronomical calendar to determine seasons, but for the London climate, the meteorological seasons fits better in terms of when spring and summer starts so I use it. This week we have had more of a whiff of summer again than late autumn, with temperatures up to 19-20 degrees C even though it’s rather cold at night with 10-12 degrees C.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Colourful October in London

Today has been yet another fine October day with lots of crisp sunshine and that slight chill in the air where you are not really sure if you need a jacket or not. I have been outside for a couple of hours and I must have taken my cardigan on and off about 10 times. Towards the end we got a slight drizzle and my cat jumped down from the bench where he had been sleeping and came up to me looking rather indignantly as if it was me who had started the rain. He convinced me to pack up and go inside with him, most likely so that he could get fed slightly earlier than usual. Since my last post I haven’t done much in the garden, to be honest I have hardly been out here as I have been recovering from yet another operation. I am better now, but taking my eye off things for a short while, even just for 10 days, can make a huge difference in my garden.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Summer isn’t over yet – EOMV September

August and September has been 2 months of the best and worst of British weather, right now we are in a settled, good spell and it is said to last for a while. Can’t really talk about an Indian summer yet as we need to be in October or November to call it that, but whatever you call it, I enjoy the nice sunny weather and temperatures around 20 degrees during the day – despite the need for watering my numerous pots in such good weather.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Autumn flowers in my new garden

Yesterday the weather threw at us just about anything you can think of apart from snow and hail - just like the weather in August and September has been really. Taking photos was a real challenge, it started out just fine after the morning showers, but as the day went on, the wind increased and I finally had to give up any more close-ups - so some of the photos were taken today in a much less windy and more sunny garden. But tomorrow it will be back to more severe rain and more wind. Autumn has really started!

Monday, 31 August 2015

EOMV – August in London

It’s the last week of the summer and over here in Britain we have Bank Holiday week-end and a Carnival to celebrate what was supposed to be a glorious summer now about to end. Well, here in London we have had an amazing June and first half of July, but August has been a month of contrasts as big as they come. A week ago we had what’s called a ‘Spanish Plume’, really hot air coming up from the continent and giving us a nice week-end of summer weather. I had 34 degrees C on the Saturday and 29 C on the Sunday in my garden. On the Monday the Spanish Plume had gone to pastures new and the temperature was a measly 16 degrees. Cold! All that was a week ago, this week-end is the big carnival do in Notting Hill, people are scantily dressed and dependant on warm, sunny weather. I have been to the Notting Hill Carnival a few times many years ago, these days I prefer my own garden for colour and drama! Sorry to say the weather was typical British Summer for all party goers this week-end, cold and cloudy yesterday, cold and raining pretty much all day today.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

How to tackle Red Lily Beetles

Today’s post is mainly going to be about a topic I have had questions about many times, how to tackle Red Lily Beetles. I absolutely adore lilies and can’t get enough of them, and when I moved house earlier this year I lifted as many bulbs I could find and ended up with 164 lilies in pots – the rest I left to the new tenant, probably nearly 100 of various size. Over the years I have tackled a lot of pest and diseases in my garden, some more frustrating than other, but lily beetles are not really a big problem to me despite the fact that I live in London where the problem with lily beetles is very common.

Friday, 31 July 2015

EOMV – July - blowing hot and cold

July 2015 has been a month of contrast in my garden in terms of the weather. From extreme hot weather in the beginning to seriously cold towards the end of the month. Well, it’s not as if we have had any snow, but it actually dipped just below 10 degrees C one night and that’s rather cold for July in London. Spare a thought for those further north though, who had temperatures down towards zero that night. Brrr! And a week ago we had 24 hours with rain. Yay!! That was really good for parched gardens around here, would have liked to have a few more days like that, but according to most forecasts there won’t be a drop of rain the next 10 days. I am back to watering every evening.