Saturday, 30 June 2012

Six months of sunrises and British weather

Saturday 30th June 2012
Well, here we are, the last day of June, half way through the year. I have been enjoying my extra 2 minutes sleep for the last few mornings and I guess it won't be long now before I start to notice the sunrise moving back along the horizon. It's got about 5 months to get back to the Millennium Copse.

I've seen my fair share of grey, overcast mornings. It's hard to find the beauty and inspiration in too many of those. But in between I've seen some awe-inspiring sunrises, a selection of which appear down the sides of this post.
Scrolling through my picture files selecting these has made me doubly determined to carry on my sunrise worship till the end of the year. And I'm sure I'll be making a lot more effort to witness the occasional sunrise for years to come, though I'll keep an eye on the weather and avoid the grey ones.

It's been a strange old year so far. Worrying times in late winter, as Lincolnshire's drought continued in ernest. Deep cracks in the ground in February where standing water would be more usual. Then, of course, that frost. Minus 16. The coldest place in the whole country. Amazing to see the crystalline world of the hoar frost, but so damaging to my poor plants.

Then the April showers, the May downpours and the June torrents. The drought well and truly ended!
And, in the middle of that, a surprise hard frost on 7th May which caught the plants by surprise.
Fifteen months of drought followed by the wettest April to June period on record. It's not surprising at all. That's the way it goes.

We've been lucky here the last couple of weeks, as other parts of the country have endured crazy weather with extreme storms and flooding.

But all I want now is some normal weather
I don't mean the same every day, I don't mean bathing in sunshine, I don't mean no weather 'events' to behold and to surprise. I just mean a normal mix of British weather, nothing too extreme.
I don't mind rain, I don't even mind the wind and I definitely like a bit of sunshine. I'm not a great fan of grey, nondescript, overcast days, but they have their place too.

But what we all need now, and especially the plants, is a nice British summer.
Most importantly a bit of warmth. The veg blogging world is full of tales of woe, vegetables weeks behind, a bad year for cucurbits, strawberries rotting on the ground, plagues of slugs, straggly beans struggling to climb up wigwams, carrots failing to germinate (it's not just me).
Now I'm relatively new to the world of veg growing and I'm just beginning to understand that there will be some sort of crop disaster every year, that my idyllic plan will never quite come to fruition (well, at least not all in the same year). But surely it can't be this testing every year??

It's been a good year for peas. And potatoes, if you can get them out of the ground. (We won't mention the threat of blight). My onions and shallots seem to be doing very well too.
So come on British weather! It's not too late to redeem yourself. A nice, warm, sunny summer, showers overnight and a late flourish in September. That'd be perfect!

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