Autumn … what a wonderful time of year, the leaves are beginning to turn, the trees are glowing with colour; it’s time to lean on them rakes again and reflect on the hot dry spring and summer we have just had….




Aright, apart from March it has been a tad damp. In March, I can actually remember preparing for a long dry season like the two previous years … how wrong was I. Nevermind, at least we have the winter to look forward to, all the plans and idea’s we have ready to be implemented for the following year, but will the weather allow us to see them through?

Having been a gardener for a few years, I completely understand that the weather affects us greatly in the garden, it’s the extremes that we have experienced in the last few years, that concerns me.

I have touched on this subject in previous posts, but planning long term is getting increasingly difficult, especially on a large scale. We ourselves have an area of over 36 acres, approximately a mile long, with roughly 37000m2 of lawn (not including the wildflower areas), large cobbled areas, herbaceous borders, mixed borders, large specimen trees and the odd small hedge…

Our little bonsai Beech hedge.

I know it is the same for all us gardeners, as it doesn’t matter if your garden is large or small. Although I am very lucky in having a great team of gardeners with varying skills and a wide range of horticultural knowledge, so by putting all our experience together, it does make future planning a little easier.

As an example, last year I stocked up on lawn wetting agents ready for this years long hot dry spell. Instead, this week I have been combating fungal problems in some of our main lawns, due to the fact that the rain has washed a lot of the nutrients out of the soil, as well as not being able to keep up with our usual lawn management again due to the weather; this has caused Red Thread to develop. Admittedly not a serious fungal condition as it rarely kills the grass, but it has attacked the finer fescues in the lawn and it looks unsightly. Aeration, a light scarify and a good feed will rectify the problem without resorting to using chemicals.

Red Thread

So what is the weather forecast for 2013 and what planning can we start doing now? For myself, after this year … a change of career. This has definitely been the most challenging year weather wise since I have been in gardening. Seriously I would never change my career, the weather has always been a challenge but with the extremes, it just means the weather may get a little more challenging in the coming years … so bring it on!

After looking at many sites on the internet …. you soon realise there is a lot of crap out there, including this blog. But starting with the winter 2012/2013, we are either going to have a, mild run of westerlies bringing more wet conditions or we could experience something similar to what we had in late November and much of December 2010. Many say this is because the Jet stream sticking and also the Arctic sea ice being at its lowest since records began. Well last year I brought extra Ice crystals because of the previous winter, plus also, it was predicted that we would have a very cold winter, apart from a few days days in November and again in February ; we had a rather quiet winter. So I am already geared up for the winter … probably more so than the councils will be.

What about the spring/summer of 2013. Well, scientists in the US believe there is a 50 per cent chance that the El Nino system will kick in during the second half of next year. With El Nino years tending to be hotter around the world this means, there is a chance that next summer will be hotter and a lot drier than it was this year …. here’s hoping! On the other hand, it could be a very wet spring/summer, but the truth is …. does anyone really know?

What you can guarantee is that, being from this part of the world, the weather will always be a major talking point, we will always complain it is either, too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too windy or complain it is just right. But us gardeners are tough and whatever the weather is, will come out the other end smiling.

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” ~ John Ruskin

“For the man sound of body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every day has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously.” ~ George Gissing

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