Thursday, 3 May 2012

Chilly Winds

Very strange weather this spring, warm in March, freezing in April.  This scene looks idyllic, but at the time I took this picture (Saturday) it was blowing a gale and felt only just above freezing!  The poor lambs must have been chilly. Earlier in the week we had a lot of rain so it was both too wet and too cold to do any work on the vegetable plot.

The broad beans were and are still hunkered down under their cloche, but the weather has warmed up quite a bit now so I might let them out of here at the weekend.  They are now very close to the roof of the cloche, I've never had them covered up quite so long but they seem to be happy under there.
The gooseberries have flowered and set fruit...
as have the redcurrants.  They didn't seem to mind the wind, unlike my new shed which had a side panel blow out the day after I visited.  So we had to go and fix the shed earlier this week, either a screw had dropped out or (more likely) I had missed one when assembling the wretched thing.  No real damage done, all fixed now.  One other plot holder wasn't so lucky, a bad gust blew out every single pane of glass in a large greenhouse!  Nightmare.
You can see the effect of April's cold on this potato.  It's been nipped by frost.  I covered all the shoots up with soil to prevent further damage and the weather does now seem to be warming up a bit.
Apologies for the skew-wiff picture, but it was difficult to get a clear view of this plum blossom.  Some of the blossom got hit by our last hard frost, but fortunately it seems to be flowering over a long period this year, so we'll still have plums.
And the apples are just about to start - here's Katy.
 The rhubarb is massive, and I was able to pick some of this.
If you look in the centre of this picture you'll see what seems to be a stone.  It's not, it's actually a hare, the first I've ever seen in this area.  By the time I got my camera ready it had spotted me and crouched down, ears flat along its back in this horse paddock.  Good to know hares are making a come back here.
And here's my first crop of the year - lots of rhubarb and spinach/chard.  I leave the spinach and chard in the ground over winter so I can get another crop off it before I clear it away for whatever is going in that ground next.  Picking this stuff was challenging though, the gusty wind whipped the plastic bag round in my hand and deposited the leaves on the ground.  I found most of them, picked a few more and weighed down the bag with the rhubarb.

On my windowsill, the seeds are germinating well.  I'm really hoping I can get back to the plot this weekend, so much to do!
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