This past week Winter has returned with a vengeance. We have seen some pretty cold temperatures accompanied by some strong easterly (therefore piercingly cold) winds. These are just the sort of conditions we gardeners hate - very damaging to our plants. Here in NE Hampshire I think we have actually been more fortunate than other parts of the UK, in that we have had hardly any snow.
Remember the little pot of Daffodils by the front door, that I wrote about a few days ago? Well it is now nearly submerged by leaves blown in on the wind:
My "micro-pond" is also frozen solid and full of leaves:
I have several clumps of Lemon Balm which had recently started to produce new growth. I think they will have suffered a significant check, because their new leaves are frozen solid:
The coldframe has been earning its keep. It doesn't add much in terms of temperature, but at least it protects plants from the wind and from frost. This pot of Chives is certainly looking happy enough:
I saw a coldframe advertised for sale in the catalogue of a well-known DIY store recently. It had sturdy wooden sides and the only glazing was in the lid. Substantial it may have been, but I don't think I would want to forfeit the extra light that glazed sides contribute. Just look at the amount of sunlight that Chive plant is getting through the side panel!
I had been meaning to plant out the first of my potatoes last weekend, but I changed my mind at the last minute, and I'm glad I did. I usually put them in a small plastic greenhouse affair (officially called a "Seedling greenhouse" and shaped like a coldframe - taller at the back), but I think it would have been blown away.
Maybe you remember me saying back in the Autumn that we had had all our guttering replaced? Well, one of the downpipes is just outside our Living Room, and in the recent strong winds it has been vibrating vigorously, emitting a really ghostly "whoooooooooo" noise. Very spooky!