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What an odd assortment of weather we’ve had this year. In just 12 months my garden has experienced heavy snow, a spring heatwave followed by a drab, damp summer, then a second heatwave in autumn. Some parts of the country have experienced drought, while others have flooded. No wonder the plants are confused.
In September, the RHS reported that the unseasonably warm weather was causing plants to flower later than usual, sometimes causing them to bloom again. This was down to climate change, according to Chief Horticultural Advisor Guy Barter. The growing season is getting longer, and plants are simply taking advantage.
I don’t know if my spring-flowering cherry is blooming late, or early. But not only is it in flower, it’s also produced a second flush of leaves, having lost them during the autumnal summer. It’s nice to look at, but I do wonder how it will get on in spring, as it doesn’t appear to have any flower or leaf buds left. Will it lose its leaves again or take them through winter? Will it flower later next year or miraculously bloom on time? I can’t wait to find out.
My spring-flowering cherry isn’t the only confused plant in my garden, ‘exploiting’ of the weather. Among the asters and rudbeckias are the last of the cranesbill geraniums and hollyhocks, and a lone foxglove! On the allotment, we still have strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and beans.
It’s all very well having cheery flowers, and being able to pick strawberries and raspberries in November, but I hope this doesn’t happen every year. I like the seasons – I look forward to them and patiently wait for them, denying myself fruit until I’ve first tasted that which I’ve grown. For me, strawberries and raspberries are a summer luxury. I don’t want them in November, not from the supermarket or my allotment. In November I want mists, cooking apples, fallen leaves and hoar frosts please.
My daffodils are showing signs of bursting into growth. I just hope the primroses don’t start into bloom. What, then would I have to look forward to during winter?
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