It’s been a few weeks and the wind keeps blowing, the rain keeps falling and I keep swearing for it to clear up, warm up and dry out so I can get outside and get on with some gardening work.
The borders are currently lined with pools of water, the grass is very squelchy and we’re supposed to be in early summer. From looking at what’s flowering, I’d say that we’re almost a whole month late. We don’t even have roses flowering yet and there are azaleas yet to open.
With so much on the to-do list it has been incredibly frustrating that I’ve not been able to work on the garden as I’ve wanted to. The two main jobs of making the final border and re-levelling the patio have simply been stuck since late winter. It feels like we’ve not have more than 24 hours without rain. I think yesterday it rained four times and hailed twice throughout the day. There were a few minutes of sunny spells in between.
I kind of rely on a sunny and warm start to the season to lift my mood and energy after a dark cold winter, but the longer daylight days mean I just get to see the howling gales and rain storms for longer before we turn in for the night. We are less than one month from the longest day and temperatures are still struggling to reach mid-teens. That’s a sentence I thought I’d never write. I’ve always relied on May to guarantee sunny weather, getting summer-hot towards the end of the month.
There have been some positive aspects though, my gamble to divide a large number of herbaceous perennials and move plants around has paid off as the persistent rain and cooler temperatures mean they’ve had a much easier time settling in, not having to face hot, sunny (normal) May weather. The plants that I have waiting to go on sale have also been kept well-watered without my intervention. The plants in the Willow border are also establishing well with all the rain.
The weather-related delay has had a much more serious impact on the time scales for the planned NGS opening. The original plan was to open for next summer. It was an ambitious target at that, requiring me to go all-out this year. I estimate that I’ve lost at least one month and probably the best part of two worth of work in the garden due to the bad weather. This has set back everything and now there’s an increasing chance that the border and indeed the plants won’t be ready for next year – the cold temperatures and low light has made seed sowing late and germination difficult. I need to seriously consider delaying for another season.
In the mean time, all I can do is to sit out the weather, hoping that the rain does eventually stop for long enough to let the garden dry out a little so I can actually walk in it without getting wet feet.