After what feels like never ending days of rain and grey skies I wake to see frost and brilliant blue skies. I wish the weather made little difference to my motivation but when it is grey, cold and wet there is a slowness to getting started, a sense that there is no urgency. Today, though, I want to get out there and enjoy the fresh air and get lots of potting done because it won’t be long before people start wanting to buy plants. Thoughts turn to the garden only when the weather is good (for many people anyway).

We were lucky and had no damage from Storm Ciara….or Storm Dennis….or whichever one it was on the third weekend of strong winds. By week three I’d given up being anxious about the likelihood of tunnels losing their covers. The cover on the main tunnel had been put on really tight when it was recovered two years ago and this is almost certainly why it didn’t rip.

The garden has been waterlogged for weeks and has been a no-go area. Until yesterday when Sarah was here to do her five hours for me. We light footedly moved around the borders cutting down grasses, clematis, verbena and epimediums, filling four or five trolleys during that time. There is more to be done but it is very satisfying to have done anything. It will be along time before I can do any planting because the soil is kind of gloopy wet and more rain is forecast for the beginning of the week.

There is another nursery near me, they have many bedding plants and young vegetable plants. Pete and Dawn work hard. But they have to go at the end of the month because HS2 is going straight through their site. They still don’t know how much compensation they will get and are talking about moving to Lincolnshire where properties are so much cheaper. Pete took me round his tunnels and glass houses showing me plants, mainly plugs, he needs to sell. I felt so very sorry for him, all the hard work they’ve done over the years ending up in this way. We went back with the van and filled it with plants to pot on and sell which he let me have for less than wholesale prices and all the while I felt like some sort of predator. When they go there will be a gap in the market locally which I may gain from to some degree but I just don’t have the range of things he has so people in the area will have to travel further to buy their horticultural supplies. I wish them all the best in the future.

Just an idle thought….can ants drown? The garden has been so wet for so long, time will tell.

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