2020 has been a warm year so far. We saw spring temperatures in February, summer temperatures in March and April and, during August, we have recently experienced a heatwave reaching over 30 Degrees Celsius for the last two weeks. As I sit here writing this blog post, the weather is finally breaking. The sky is getting darker by the minute, and I can hear the rumble of thunderstorms in the distance; they will be here soon, and I will enjoy watching the rain while sipping a coffee. With everything that has happened this year, sitting on my own listening to the rain hit our lantern lights will give me a much needed period of solitude and meditative reflection.
This year was always going to be a disappointing growing season. Our builders finally finished our home extension in mid-June, leaving a good chunk of our garden barren, compacted mud. My greenhouse was out of service for the early part of the year, and I was unable to restock my depleted seed stocks. Work has been busy, I started the year with one job role at work, I now have two. Both are big and take up a lot of time. I oversee the health care organisations operational response to COVID-19, and its impacts on our ability to deliver care, the second is upgrading how we respond to people in health and social care crisis in the community. I have two great teams, but I have to put the hours in, which has taken me away from my garden, my blog and my YouTube Channel.
The rumbles of thunder are getting closer.
One of the benefits my garden has gained from building our extension is the installation of a high-pressure water system. We had always struggled to get good pressure out to our irrigation devices, and now I can cover a quarter of my garden with one sprinkler. This has made keeping my garden hydrated much easier. The temperatures have occasionally caught me off guard. Some of my potted plants have required watering twice a day. The plants have suffered when I have been distracted, or too lazy, to match my routine to the temperature. Some of the plants have suffered, as a result, leaves wilting and produce is not looking as healthy as it could, but in most cases, I have managed to save the plants.
I have had some successes in the garden. My runner beans look very healthy and taste great despite a black fly infestation earlier in the year. My potatoes have done well, and I am looking forward to comparing those grown in the plot and those grown in bags. I had a great crop of garden peas which kept me in fresh peas for a couple of weeks.
I have tried growing carrots in a large tub, but they are not looking well. I had hoped using a container filled with compost would help me produce better, and straighter, carrots. I’m not sure what the problem has been but suspect my inconsistent watering has not been helpful. My courgettes have not been as productive as in previous years. I left these in pots which seems to have limited their growth. I have since moved them to the main plot, and they are doing much better. I will get a limited crop from them this year, but I think it was an excellent move to relocate them.
In a previous blog, I had planned to sow some seeds, but this didn’t happen. Between work and decorating our house to a liveable standard, I couldn’t find the motivation to spend some time sowing seeds, let alone film or write about it. The opportunity to take some annual leave from helped me decide to take some time away from this blog, trying to catch up with growing and YouTube, to focus on my family and home. I am pleased to say I feel much better for it. For the past few days, I have done very little apart from the odd bit of decorating and preparing a piece of ground in the garden for shingling. I have mostly sat in the garden and spending time with my children. It’s been a wonderful restorative time.
The rain is here. It’s time to put away my computer, pick up my coffee, reflect on the next steps and the autumn to come.