Just a spot of frostbite…


One day, and such an alteration. Yesterday, the meadow was going mad; the anemones and scillas were out, the fritillaries were unfolding, the primroses were bulking up, the daffodils were really motoring.


Then the weather changed. The temperature dropped like a particularly hefty stone, but it wasn’t just that; it was the bitter, howling, perishing, ear-freezing, brain-befuddling, gate-rattling east wind, one of the reasons why the older houses in the village are tucked into the hill and have very few or no openings on their eastern side. There’s an expression for a biting east wind in Welsh: gwynt traed y meirw – wind from the feet of the dead. Derivation? Well, one story is that it comes from a battle in mid-Wales; there were no survivors and the only way people knew what had happened was the smell of putrefaction carried on the east wind. Lovely.  (I remember reading a description of the way the landscape changes on the journey from Dolgellau to Shrewsbury: ‘…from a Mabinogion landscape, full of severed heads and hunting dogs, to English pastoral…’ Bang on, on both the landscape and the nature of Welsh myth.) Feel that east wind, and you die.



And it’s not just the daffodils. It’s everything (except for me and P – we kept warm by pruning and trimming and ripping up a huge hydrangea). The lush, vibrant crocuses are now flat and slimy. The primroses look as though they’ve ben hit with something heavy. The anemones are barely recognisable as having once been anemones:

yikes 2

and the house is full of daffodils.


I’ve run out of vases, but I really must find something more attractive than a tatty old plastic measuring jug…


22 Comments Add yours

  1. Cathy says:

    More giggles from one of your posts, Kate – only to be expected 😉 – and some intriguing folklore too. We have the same weather today too – brrr!

    1. kate says:

      It’s demented. On eminute blizzard, next minute blue sky. Weather is bipolar. Always suspected it…

  2. Christina says:

    The weather seems to be Europe-wide! What a shame about the Crocus, but I imagine the Anemones will pick themselves up when the wind stops. hope so anyway. Christina

    1. kate says:

      Oh dear, not you too! I’d hoped you at least would be spared some of this…

  3. Pauline says:

    Poor flowers, doesn’t seem fair does it? Mine are looking in the same sorry state, the ones in the woodland, not so bad as they have a bit of shelter. Maybe they will pick up once this biting wind stops, well you never know, thank goodness, our snow came to nothing.

    1. kate says:

      P. thought that the daffs were beginning to recover this morning, but since then we;ve had blizzard / fine / blizzard / fine, repeat ad infinitum, and I’m glad I picked so many (119)…

  4. If not for the wind – the snow here would be bearable!
    Shame about your blooms – most of mine are now under snow, I’ve no doubt I’ll be feeling as deflated as you are when it melts.
    Luckily, though, that you managed to rescue some Daffs – a plastic jug is better than nothing!

    1. kate says:

      The wind is the real bugbear… mind you, it’s now snowing and gloomy at the back of the house, and bright blue sky at the front. It’s a normal-size house, not a palace, too. This weather is insane

  5. Anna says:

    Oh those poor daffies have taken a real battering Kate. I’m in East Anglian at the moment on the edge of the Fens – the wind seems to be blowing in from Siberia!

    1. kate says:

      I think is is coming from there – it cuts right through you, doesn’t it? Through you and through your garden….

  6. hillwards says:

    Poor poor smashed meadow indeed. We’ve had brutal winds for a couple of days now – though most of the daffs seem to be bearing up okay so far, so I’ve not done any mercy dashes for them yet! It’s hard to sleep when the house is being assaulted by these winds, though: I hope they ease off soon!

    1. kate says:

      It’s ferocious. I think we’d be better with snow (and I’m not asking for it, really), because at least a covering of snow is insulating. My soil is rock solid…

  7. wellywoman says:

    Isn’t it just flipping annoying? Stormy weather here too and so cold. I’m thoroughly sick of wearing so many layers. At least the daffs will brighten up the house. Well you’ve got to find a positive somewhere 😉

    1. kate says:

      That is a positive, but unfortunately there’s a negative too – they’re going over very quickly. Still, better inside and gorgeous for a bit than being reduced to slime outside…

  8. Dobby says:

    As I can’t drive this week, I stood for 10 mins at the bottom of the road waiting for my lift this morning. I got so cold I couldn’t feel anything!!
    Traws was a nightmare. Blizzards and bright sunshine. But the wind. That damned wind.
    Hope the plants recover.

    1. kate says:

      I hope you recover too! At least the wind seems to have dropped, but so do the temperatures. Strewth…

  9. Brutally cold, isn’t it. Though our wind is from the north east, and therefore hammering straight into the bay generating amazing waves. I was going to try and say something encouraging about how lovely to have so many daffs in the house, but frankly, we both know you’d rather they were still outside. I’v not yet had a good look at the damage a NE wind and horizontal snow cause, but I am betting my crocuses are all slimy now too. Gotta love the Mabinogian, I know that drive from Dolgellau to Shrewsbury, spot on! And I’ll take the severed heads and flower women any day. But I would like to have Spring back now please.

    1. kate says:

      Brace yourself for the walk of doom. My beautiful river of purple crocuses is now a river of shrivelled greyness and everything else is looking as though it’s been chilled to the bone. Even the dragons are back, digging in my garden again to keep warm…

      (With you on the severed heads, women made of flowers and cauldrons of poetry…)

  10. croftgarden says:

    Loved the description of the east wind – definitely cold enough to freeze the feet!

    1. kate says:

      Brrrrrrr. And it’s still brrrrr. (But the daffodils do seem to have revived a little, and at least it’s raining and nor snowing. For the moment.)

  11. so now I know why the previous owners who built my house built a porch with a north facing door over the east facing rear door, thanks Kate, makes perfect sense.
    sorry about your plants though I hope some pick up, I have had times when I’ve had a house full of daffs due the the winds blowing outside, mine are still pretty tucked up and don’t want to come out this year,
    keep warm, Frances

    1. kate says:

      That would be the explanation for the porch, yes indeed – east wind a killer, wherever it hits…

      I wish my crocuses had stayed tucked up – poor little things. Sad.

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