Which is worse – not knowing what the weather is going to throw at us over a twenty-four hour period, or knowing – and dreading – what is on the way? Friday was wet, very wet, hail, windy, with sunny spells: the prelude to Storm Arwen. As we moved from a Yellow to an Amber warning with a risk of flooding (not a problem for me) and power cuts (which usually are), then to a Red warning for wind, I spent yesterday filling flasks with hot water, baskets with logs, and buckets with coal (smokeless fuel) for the wood-burner. I like to be prepared!
Apologies that this week’s Six on Saturday (hosted by The Propagator) begins with storm damage and repairs. We could have done without it.
First, the Potting Shed. We lost one plastic sheet from the roof overnight. Luckily, at 6.15 this morning, I spotted it lying in the field so we were out in our dressing gowns scaling the wall to retrieve it. The other end was loose too, so preventative measures in the form of a couple of battens and several screws hopefully mean this roof will last until next year when it is due to be replaced.
Next was the ‘veranda’ roof, the covered passage that keeps us dry as we carry shopping in from the car or put rubbish in the bins. We searched high and low for the missing sheet, but eventually found in at the back of our shed near the neighbours’ greenhouse. A successful retrieval.
Unfortunately we couldn’t get these sheets back into the glazing bars so have screwed them down and I’ve tied one of them to the light bracket. We may get dripped on, but shouldn’t have to go chasing them around the village.
The only other garden damage we noticed was the garden arches had been slightly pushed over and one of my terracotta pots was blown over and broken near the top.
It could have been worse (though we haven’t yet checked the house roof for missing/broken slates). Power kept going off for a few minutes, then on again. This morning, several areas of North East Wales are without power until at least 2pm; roads are blocked with fallen trees, so we count ourselves very lucky to get away with none of our neighbour’s trees falling over onto our property.
Now back to one I prepared earlier!
With cold weather forecast for the last week of November, it was time to put the covers back on the shelving in the Potting Shed, and just in time as Monday morning saw a light dusting of frost, frozen windscreens, and a distinct fall in temperature. I’m hoping the parsley and sorrel will survive without the extra protection, but at the first sign they are suffering, I’ve got bubble-wrap to .
Thursday was another bright but cool day – the calm before the storms – so I took the opportunity to give the fuchsia in the Lavender Border it’s final chop of 2021. There is already plenty of new growth at the base where we pruned the other stems. I doubt my ambition to grow one stem as a standard is going to work; I’ll work on it next year.
Finally, I visited our small local garden centre this week to look for something to give my brother for Christmas. There wasn’t much choice in the plant department but I did pick up this sempervivum ‘Taurus’ for £3.50 and intend snipping off a few of the babies – just in case his doesn’t survive the winter!!
I also picked up these terracotta half-pots, which he might like to use to make a sempervivum tower – or not. The difficulty now is to remove the price labels around the outer rims without damaging the pots. I’ll also give him a small bag of horticultural grit and he can provide his own compost or soil.
Hopefully, British and Irish gardeners on here have survived without too much damage and have not spent the morning out in the cold making repairs. Whatever you have planned, perhaps a day indoors with the seed catalogues might be preferable to attempting to plant bulbs or prune shrubs. Treat yourselves!