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Offline Skreever  
#41 Posted : 17 February 2016 09:40:33(UTC)
Skreever

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Location: Orkney, by Scapa Flow

Indeed it does - our mean winter temperature is 5C. Coldest this winter has been minus 3C. We're at 58.94 N - that's closer to the Arctic circle than we are to , say, London. But we have one major adversary - the salt-laden wind. It can burn the healthiest plant back to a brown stalk if you're unlucky. Add in wind chill from winds which can top 70 mph regularly (official record is 134mph at which point the anemometer broke) hosing this salt solution everywhere and you have challenging conditions. Western Isles and Shetland face the same problems.

Was on a birdwalk last Monday - every month through the winter - and we parked ourselves out of the wind on a grassy bank for picnic lunch. Sun so warm that in minutes the outer layers of Goretex were being shed and definitely a wee touch of the sun visible by evening ( might have been windburn though😎).

Veteran of winter of 62/63

By Scapa Flow, Orkney

Online Roger Parsons  
#42 Posted : 23 February 2016 14:55:21(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Location: Lincolnshire

Just been down to check the bees. Farm road a mess and the ground in the apiary is still saturated. 7degC and a light NNW wind, but sunny and bright and a few keen bees were flying. All hives are alive, active and taking supplementary feed [fondant]. What they want now is spring so they can fetch in some pollen. There are plenty of flowers out in the garden if only they can get here. I saw a bumblebee pass by a window here at midday - White-tailed at a guess.

 

Roger

Edited by user 23 February 2016 14:59:35(UTC)  | Reason: addition

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.

William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830

Offline Lionel Hutz  
#43 Posted : 23 February 2016 17:38:52(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

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Joined: 05/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 6,670
Man
Ireland

Originally Posted by: Skreever Go to Quoted Post
Indeed it does - our mean winter temperature is 5C. Coldest this winter has been minus 3C. We're at 58.94 N - that's closer to the Arctic circle than we are to , say, London. But we have one major adversary - the salt-laden wind. It can burn the healthiest plant back to a brown stalk if you're unlucky. Add in wind chill from winds which can top 70 mph regularly (official record is 134mph at which point the anemometer broke) hosing this salt solution everywhere and you have challenging conditions. Western Isles and Shetland face the same problems.
Was on a birdwalk last Monday - every month through the winter - and we parked ourselves out of the wind on a grassy bank for picnic lunch. Sun so warm that in minutes the outer layers of Goretex were being shed and definitely a wee touch of the sun visible by evening ( might have been windburn though😎).

As a matter of interest, how close to the coast are you? How far inland can damaging salt-laden winds reach?

Edited by user 23 February 2016 17:41:23(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

"The hardest thing of all is to see what is really there"

J.A. Baker, The Peregrine

Offline Skreever  
#44 Posted : 26 February 2016 16:07:37(UTC)
Skreever

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Location: Orkney, by Scapa Flow

Originally Posted by: Lionel Hutz Go to Quoted Post

 

As a matter of interest, how close to the coast are you? How far inland can damaging salt-laden winds reach?

I'm about 350 yards from the beach at Scapa Flow.  The salt wind can cover the entire island - not worth washing salt-caked windows as the rain will do it soon enough.  
You're never more than about 5 miles from the sea in Orkney, the result being that growing shelter is important for gardeners.  The islands were wooded once - in the Neolithic era - but our ancestors chopped most of the trees; then the climate cooled in the Bronze Age and suddenly growing crops  became a tougher proposition.

Veteran of winter of 62/63

By Scapa Flow, Orkney

Offline Bertwhistle  
#45 Posted : 26 February 2016 16:56:32(UTC)
Bertwhistle

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Disappointing display of crocuses this year; 500 or so came up last year and we planted another 40 in the autumn. Although about 50 have made it to bloom so far, and there are more waiting, probably 90% of these have been purple. The white, yellow, popcorn and other colours we have, have been distinctly lacking.

Bertie, Itchen Valley.

August 2020: best heatwave since '95

Offline Lionel Hutz  
#46 Posted : 26 February 2016 16:59:06(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

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Ireland

Originally Posted by: Skreever Go to Quoted Post

 

I'm about 350 yards from the beach at Scapa Flow.  The salt wind can cover the entire island - not worth washing salt-caked windows as the rain will do it soon enough.  
You're never more than about 5 miles from the sea in Orkney, the result being that growing shelter is important for gardeners.  The islands were wooded once - in the Neolithic era - but our ancestors chopped most of the trees; then the climate cooled in the Bronze Age and suddenly growing crops  became a tougher proposition.

That's really interesting. I'm a good ten miles or so inland so obviously I have no such problems. Mostly around here , a mile or two from the coast and you're quite safe from salt damage and trees and bushes will avoid that wind-blown look. With shelter,  you'll have woodland right down to the sea in favoured spots. Not too common though as we've also been successful in denuding our landscape of trees....

Edited by user 28 February 2016 07:26:08(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

"The hardest thing of all is to see what is really there"

J.A. Baker, The Peregrine

Offline Skreever  
#47 Posted : 28 February 2016 08:54:24(UTC)
Skreever

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Location: Orkney, by Scapa Flow

Planted two alders three years ago - almost 8 feet tall already - just 24 inches when first put in. Finding salt resistant trees and shrubs crucial. Escallonia and Olearia both do well and seem immune to salt.
Veteran of winter of 62/63

By Scapa Flow, Orkney

Offline Bertwhistle  
#48 Posted : 28 February 2016 14:16:44(UTC)
Bertwhistle

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Location: Central Southern England

Originally Posted by: Skreever Go to Quoted Post
Planted two alders three years ago - almost 8 feet tall already - just 24 inches when first put in. Finding salt resistant trees and shrubs crucial. Escallonia and Olearia both do well and seem immune to salt.

Escallonia types often make really good, decorative but functional hedging- additional shelter from those brisk salties. I don't know about Olearia- is that a shrub, perennial, something else? I could look it up I suppose. (Being lazy)

Bertie, Itchen Valley.

August 2020: best heatwave since '95

Offline Skreever  
#49 Posted : 01 March 2016 09:10:57(UTC)
Skreever

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Location: Orkney, by Scapa Flow

Originally Posted by: Bertwhistle Go to Quoted Post

 

Escallonia types often make really good, decorative but functional hedging- additional shelter from those brisk salties. I don't know about Olearia- is that a shrub, perennial, something else? I could look it up I suppose. (Being lazy)

Also known as New Zealand holly - so I believe. Should be easy to find in a garden centre - mine all came from local gardeners.  New Zealand flax also pretty tough - once again from local gardeners. A blackthorn hedge I planted is now beginning to thrive after 5 years - it takes that long for the roots to develop and everything to settle down.

Veteran of winter of 62/63

By Scapa Flow, Orkney

Offline Bertwhistle  
#50 Posted : 05 March 2016 20:44:17(UTC)
Bertwhistle

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Posts: 6,861
Location: Central Southern England

Originally Posted by: Skreever Go to Quoted Post

 

Also known as New Zealand holly - so I believe. Should be easy to find in a garden centre - mine all came from local gardeners.  New Zealand flax also pretty tough - once again from local gardeners. A blackthorn hedge I planted is now beginning to thrive after 5 years - it takes that long for the roots to develop and everything to settle down.

That's a great plant Skreever- thorns for nests, flowers for bees, berries for sloe gin. What an investment!

Bertie, Itchen Valley.

August 2020: best heatwave since '95

Offline DEW  
#51 Posted : 05 March 2016 21:23:24(UTC)
DEW

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Location: Chichester 12m. asl

Originally Posted by: Bertwhistle Go to Quoted Post

 

That's a great plant Skreever- thorns for nests, flowers for bees, berries for sloe gin. What an investment!

Also on the list of burglary-preventing plants

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2107511/The-home-guard-Police-suggest-30-thorny-bushes-homeowners-plant-discourage-lazy-garden-thieves.html 

"The sky was an exquisitely deep blue just then, with filmy white clouds drawn up over it like gauze"
Offline Skreever  
#52 Posted : 06 March 2016 08:29:52(UTC)
Skreever

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Location: Orkney, by Scapa Flow

It's certainly thickening up now - around 4 feet tall but some pruning needed now to cause thickening from the base up. Any berries are snuffled by the birds - as they are from the rosa rubrifolia hedge I planted four years ago.

There are still plenty of people up here who never lock their doors - ever. It's that kind of an island. So blackthorn planted primarily for horticultural reasons!😉

Veteran of winter of 62/63

By Scapa Flow, Orkney

Offline Jonesy  
#53 Posted : 15 March 2016 10:50:56(UTC)
Jonesy

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Location: Medway

Is it too early for Begonias? We had some in the shaded area of our garden from last April right through till October, they did excellent and I'm on the look out for some more but wondering if it's still a little early?

Medway Towns (Kent)

The Weather will do what it wants, when it wants, no matter what data is thrown at it !

Offline Bertwhistle  
#54 Posted : 15 March 2016 19:39:09(UTC)
Bertwhistle

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 20/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6,861
Location: Central Southern England

Here's a guide Jonesy.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=815

It's the frosts that are the risk. Not sure if you had frosts where you are last April, but generally it's protected planting in spring as they're classed as a tender perennial. So for existing plants, they're just not up yet I suspect.

Edited by user 15 March 2016 19:42:57(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Bertie, Itchen Valley.

August 2020: best heatwave since '95

Offline Jonesy  
#55 Posted : 17 March 2016 08:24:30(UTC)
Jonesy

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Location: Medway

Originally Posted by: Bertwhistle Go to Quoted Post

Here's a guide Jonesy.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=815

It's the frosts that are the risk. Not sure if you had frosts where you are last April, but generally it's protected planting in spring as they're classed as a tender perennial. So for existing plants, they're just not up yet I suspect.

Thank you..very handy link  Think I will leave the Begonias for a little longer till threat of Frost passes

Medway Towns (Kent)

The Weather will do what it wants, when it wants, no matter what data is thrown at it !

Online Roger Parsons  
#56 Posted : 19 March 2016 19:04:45(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Location: Lincolnshire

That dog poo problem - It's historical now, as our last labrador died just over a year ago. But we used to put garden dog poo in a plastic composter well away from the garden compost bins intended for the veggies. One of these dogpost-bins had over 10 years of quiet decomposition. I recently took off the plastic bin and admired the healthy-looking product inside. It looked perfect - dark, friable, full of happy invertebrates. However, both knowledge and superstition tell us that dog poo on your radishes is a bad idea, however well-rotted. So the question was - what on earth to do with it?


Here's what I came up with. To one side of our vegetable patch we have a stand of 'Bocking 14' comfrey which is used as a green manure/mulch or for making liquid fertiliser. We have grown it here since the mid 80s. Rather than use the 'dogpost' directly on food plants, I thought I would feed it to the comfrey, which has had little fertilisation over the years. I reason that once taken up by the roots and turned into plant tissue, with the leaves used as previously, we should keep any risk of food contamination to a minimum.



I'll be interested if anyone else has found a promising/safe way to deal with this problem.

Roger

Edited by user 20 March 2016 07:04:14(UTC)  | Reason: + smileys

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.

William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830

Offline Bertwhistle  
#57 Posted : 05 April 2016 11:29:34(UTC)
Bertwhistle

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 20/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6,861
Location: Central Southern England

How are your gardens doing?

It's really starting to liven up here now, after quite a bit of sunshine, despite chilly winds at times.

A signature event is the flowering of our dessert plum. The little white stars are just fully open this morning. The early birds have had their time- last few out of hundreds of crocuses enjoying the sun and the snowdrops are reduced to blue-green stalks. Soon I'll give the lawn its first spring trim.

 

Bertie, Itchen Valley.

August 2020: best heatwave since '95

Offline ARTzeman  
#58 Posted : 05 April 2016 12:19:11(UTC)
ARTzeman

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Location: Peasedown St John. N.E. Sommerset

Herbs are all doing well. Rosemary, sage and thyme replenished.  One lemon tree survived the winter in the growing room. Accompanied with an ivy. Need some more sowings in there now. Garlic doing well .Chives and mints are shooting up. All the new fruit trees from last year are budding well . With leaves at least. Some strawberries in flower. Raspberry  canes   are  breaking buds... Daffs have finished. Tulip out in flower with bluebells coming on. Heuchera sending forth their buds on long stems. Grass is getting plucked by the handful ending up in with the chooks.   Nice time of year... Must start on the baskets  soon. 

Some people walk in the rain.

Others just get wet.

I Just Blow my horn or trumpet

Offline Bertwhistle  
#59 Posted : 05 April 2016 14:01:54(UTC)
Bertwhistle

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 20/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6,861
Location: Central Southern England

Originally Posted by: ARTzeman Go to Quoted Post

Herbs are all doing well. Rosemary, sage and thyme replenished.  One lemon tree survived the winter in the growing room. Accompanied with an ivy. Need some more sowings in there now. Garlic doing well .Chives and mints are shooting up. All the new fruit trees from last year are budding well . With leaves at least. Some strawberries in flower. Raspberry  canes   are  breaking buds... Daffs have finished. Tulip out in flower with bluebells coming on. Heuchera sending forth their buds on long stems. Grass is getting plucked by the handful ending up in with the chooks.   Nice time of year... Must start on the baskets  soon. 

Art, I don't know how you keep up with it all! The garden is enough on its own, but then you've 'chooks' too. Nice to hear your rasp canes are breaking; ours are still in winter bud.

Bertie, Itchen Valley.

August 2020: best heatwave since '95

Offline ARTzeman  
#60 Posted : 07 April 2016 16:09:08(UTC)
ARTzeman

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Location: Peasedown St John. N.E. Sommerset

A hanging basket has now been planted today with 6 Fuchsia Angela to brighten up May.. Some buds already ..... 

Some people walk in the rain.

Others just get wet.

I Just Blow my horn or trumpet

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