The winter of my discontent


Grumble, grumble, grumble. Guess what the weather is doing? Again?

Everything is wet. Even the logs stacked in the greenhouse are wet. I’m wet. The Hell Hound of Harlech got wet. P got wet, though despite this he still decided to go tree climbing with a bow saw and take a branch off the cherry. Next Door’s Cat got so wet that he actually went to his real home and has been looking at me smugly from behind a window.

And it’s been windy. First, wind off the land:


and now wind – big wind – off the sea, as is more usual. Just retrieved one wheelie bin from near the car park, and the other from behind a lamppost. They were wet.

But I have done one thing: got the spuds chitting. They began sprouting quite lavishly, so I hauled them out, told them off, rubbed away the weak white shoots that always make me think of Gollum and put them in egg boxes on a windowsill. If it doesn’t stop raining in time I can always throw them at Next Door’s Cat. Or P. Or the HH of H (the most likely candidate).

A few things are out. They’re battered, but they’re out. My first daff, for instance, and some snowdrops, and some crocuses. And even…


Oh, all right, I took this last year. The light levels are so low that all my photographs of the hellebores this year have been shite – but they’re there, and they’re flowering nicely. When you can actually see.

And I have been doing a bit of planning, looking at all the things that are coming up because it’s so unseasonably warm (we have had one good frost, but I wouldn’t mind more, honest). There are a load of Verbena bonarensis seedlings which I’m going to move into one bed, and there are foxgloves everywhere. Time, I think, for a little selective meadow-editing. A couple of years ago there were foxgloves in the meadow, so I was hoping they’d be back this year – but I can’t see any evidence so far. Time to do some moving, I think. I know this is lovely,


and, believe you me, I’m really looking forward to a seeing the meadow in its glory again, but I think a few foxgloves would be a good addition. They looked fab when they appeared spontaneously, so I’m going to give them a hand. Better that than throwing them on the compost (I have a lot of foxgloves).

However at the moment it’s a bit wet…



17 Comments Add yours

  1. VP says:

    I have self-seeded foxgloves in the lawn, so I know they’d be just right for your meadow.

    1. kate says:

      Thanks – I’m sure you’re right. The few that came up a couple of years ago looked ace. But I fancy drifts…

  2. Top to heat a pot of herbal tea, pull a good book from the shelf and spend a few moments lost in something perfect…Oh yes, something from the oven might be a big plus.

    1. kate says:

      Sigh. Can I add gin to the herbal tea? I mean separately, not actually put it in…

  3. Angie says:

    Yes it’s wet, wet, wet here too! It’s nice to think forward and do a bit of summer dreaming. I decided to sort through all last year’s pictures but with the wind howling and the rain pelting down I found myself down in the dumps longing for some respite from the relentless rainfall.

  4. croftgarden says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been good, drinking herbal tea to lower my caffeine input, but I could be tempted to try the gin. Your beach looks very Hebridean – have you drifted north in the storm?

    1. kate says:

      Alas, no, I’m still south of the Hebrides – but one of my geologist friends pointed out why I instantly felt so much at home here: the geology is the same as my part of Sutherland…

      (We’re all well north of the home counties, which is what matters, 😉)

  5. Yep. Wet. Windy. Am fed up. But, I have lovely mini irises flowering away, a good crop of snowdrops, plenty of crocuses poking up their heads, and hellebores. Impossible to photograph given the aforementioned weather, but lovely nonetheless. Drifts of foxgloves in the meadow would be lovely, as will a goodly clump of v.b. I have to relocate some of that myself. And I need to purchase potatoes to chit… Apparently From Goch have a goodly selection…

    1. kate says:

      Fron Goch’s spud selection is apparently building. Just saying.

      Snowdrops here too, just, plus a few anemones (!) and daffs. The trees seem to be about normal but those amemones? Eh? What do you think this is, March?

  6. oh dear, oh dear Kate, amazingly I was surprised to find you get less rain than south Wales, and lots less than the north and west of Scotland, I am buying bog plants as we have had wet for two and a half years, I’m beyond even hoping for a dry or just drier summer and see no end to the wet, don’t you put very heavy stones/rocks on your wheelie bins, it’s the golden rule on the islands, tuc, tuc, you Welsh softies ……………. Frances

    1. kate says:

      Ho ho Frances… And yes to the big stones, but they get ‘borrowed’ or just forgotten by the bin men in the dark. It’s the rcycling bin that’s my real nightmare as it’s much lighter and gets blown so much further. Clearly we need to send our bin men up to yours for a spot of on-the-job training amd whisky testing. I’m sure they’d appreciate it!

      Seriously though, I’m luckier than many of my neighbours because my garden slopes so much and therefore drains quite naturally (into the burial ground of the Capel below me). Even so it is really soggy this year. Please let it stop!

      1. oh, no good sending your bin men here as they don’t put the stones back here either, I keep my bins by the house and wheel them out very early on bin day, then bring them in as soon as emptied, sometimes like the day they were due first week of January, it was so windy I didn’t even put them out,
        my garden has been soggy so many years now I’ve forgotten what dry is like, I’ve lost so many plants which is why I now try only to buy moisture lovers, I also hope this will invoke ‘s*ds law’ and we will have a drought, well we can dream can’t we, here’s to a drier Britain, Frances

        1. kate says:

          I’m planning a garden centre trip on Tues, so if I also buy bog-loving plants we should ensure a drought throughout the west of Britain… It’s a pact!

  7. Anna says:

    Wet over the border here in north Cheshire too Kate and yet more to come this week 😦 Have looked at seed potatoes for sale in Wilkos but that was the sum total. Hope that the rain eases off long enough for you to complete your meadow editing. At least you will not need to puddle them in.

    1. kate says:

      It just seems one storm after another, doesn’t it?

      I’m doing something I’ve never had to do before, and am drying out logs a little bit more over radiators when the stove is off. I wish I could bring the whole garden in and dry it off a bit too.

      (Said this to P who gave me a very odd look. I think the weather is getting to everyone. Well, me, anyway.)

  8. hoehoegrow says:

    Raining here too ! I was just about put my wellies on and the heavens opened again! But yesterday, I swear I smelled spring on the air. Not long now. I can’t remember what it feels like to have the sun warm on my back. I take my solace in seed catalogues!

    1. kate says:

      Seed catalogues are always great at this time of year – just got my order in from Real Seeds and it’s making me believe it might stop raining sooner or later.

      But not today….

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