Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Swings and roundabouts (and slides) in the snow

It was fun while it lasted - well, perhaps for the first couple of days anyway - but now the rain is washing away the snow and revealing the damage it's done.

The worst casualty appears to be a beautiful large red Camellia japonica (probably 'Grand Prix') which stood about five feet high and just as wide. But the weight of snow that fell on it on January 17th and 18th - probably no more than 4-5 inches in this sheltered spot - split half of it off at just above ground level.

Elsewhere, where we had up to 10 inches of snow that night, we've also lost the tops off at least one cherry which was about 9 feet tall, two plums - formerly 6 feet tall and a load of summer-fruiting raspberries.

The brassicas may take a while to recover as they've been flattened. The sprouts harvest was almost finished as we quickly got through the small crop from short plants. The purple sprouting broccoli was perhaps 10-12 weeks from being ready though, so only time will tell how they recover.

And the leeks will probably be okay and the garlic and onions were will be fine based on past experience.

I gave up sowing broad beans in late autumn or early winter having had my plants flattened a couple of times in recent years. They grow and flower and fruit just as readily as usual, albeit with bent stems. But the beans being so close to the ground just feed the mice which is a tad frustrating.

On the plus side, great snowman, snowwoman and snowgirl; great snowball fights; fun with the dog trying to catch every snowball as if it was a tennis ball (it was the first time she'd seen snow); and perhaps top of the list should be fun with the sledge on our new route.

It went from the top of the garden by the greenhouse, through the orchard and past the "soon-to-be" new lawn to the bottom of the yew hedge. It was a run of about 200 feet with twists and turns like the Cresta Run and a fall of about 30 feet - one of the benefits of living on the side of a valley. And it lasted well but the second sizable fall of snow this week - another 4-5 inches - slowed it down.

So we finished off by making a snow slide on the patio instead, dubbed "Snowmageddon" by my daughter.  And, as she said, it was "awesome".

Swings and roundabouts then from the snow.

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