May 07, 2011

Hallelujah, it's raining rain!

AT LAST! Finally after an unbelievable 2 plus months with no rain, today we have rain, not huge amounts, but I can feel the relief of my poor plants as they suck up the water.

It is apparantly the fourth driest March-April in the England and Wales since 1766. I certainly can't remember a spring like it in my lifetime. Lots of plants in our garden have been suffering, some irredeemably, some I hope will battle on.

The lawn is yellow and dusty, plant leaves are scorched,
Japanese anemones - help!
even on really well established shrubs,

Cotinus - yikes!

and everywhere there are signs of plants under stress.

Knautia should not have lime green leaves.

It is horrible for seedlings, even though I water them myself most nights,

an unhappy Eryngium baby
Plants are flowering between 2-6 weeks early, and are coming and going over before I can use many of them in bouquets. The alliums are going to seed in record time,

and flowers I associate more with June, like poppies, verbascum and knautia started flowering at the end of April. Is this climate change, I have no idea, but it is certainly throwing my plans out. It seems a horribly petulant to stamp my feet about it, when for millions lack of rain means no food, so I am trying to be stoic about it. On the positive side, it is good to have to think on one's feet a bit, be adaptable, and it is lovely having unexpected arrivals to gawp at. Loving these poppies and verbascum.

Papaver 'Perry's White'. Papaver 'Miss Piggy' is similar but with frilled edges. (Silly name for a stunning plant)

So it isn't all doom and gloom in the Wild Acre garden, and with more rain, it is just going to get better. Remind me I said that in a washout July! Have a beautiful weekend, where ever you are. xx


  1. I know it sounds horribly practical but I suspect it will be a *good* thing for you to have an atypical year weather-wise so early into your business. I think it'll help you to plan effectively for future years.

    Is there any chance you'd ever be able to send flowers further South (say Oxfordshire??!!). I just love the style of your bouquets and am so sad not to be able to admire them close up.


  2. Gosh I can't believe it has been so dry in UK.. Your white poppies look amazing though - so beautiful - one of my favourites. Hope the garden enjoys the drink! X

  3. The rain is most welcome here too, although being in the north I do not think my garden has suffered as much as those further south.
    Your poppies look so delicate and captured beautifully in your wonderful photographs (note to self: must get a new camera!).
    Have a lovely weekend. Abby x

  4. Had no idea it was that bad. Either you have not been complaining too much, or I have not been paying enough attention. Glad you got a break finally, and hope more is on its way. Lovely poppies!

  5. Finally!! We only had a little last night, it seems to have circled us but we are hoping for more tonight (not often i get to a stage of praying for rain!) Can't believe how far on your flowers are, ours are early but no verbascum yet. Delph are close to flowering and i'm off with my camera now to capture the stunning poppies.
    Enjoy your weekend, possibly indoors sheltering from the rain.

  6. I think we have received more rain than our usual share of rain a record breaking amount...
    I am happy to hear that your gardens are getting a well deserved drink!

    Oh and your poppies are so pretty!

  7. I would like a dress just like that lovely rumpled poppy please! Xxx

  8. Belinda the farmers here in the Marches are so happy that their 'rain dances' have paid off!
    We have had heavy rain since yesterday evening and still pouring down.
    We are surrounded by forests so our garden is mostly woodland which tends to stay damp even our lawns are green!!
    I enjoy your beautiful garden,and wish I lived nearer would certainly buy your flower bouquets.Ida

  9. Mmm. Spots of heavy rain here in Cambridge but not enough to sort out our parched 'lawn'. Buddleia looking sad, and all the euphorbia babies I planted in our front garden lost the will to live while we were away. And just what kind of poppy is that white one? I need some in our garden... Ax

  10. Sarah, you are probably spot on, it is just a bit depressing in the present. If I am ever in your neck of the woods, I will personally deliver a bouquet to thank you for all your encouragement!!

    S.E. - apparantly the driest spring for over 100 years. Doesn't feel right althought the sunshine has been lovely.

    Abby, I'm in the dry East Anglian corner of England - an area not entirely suited to cut flower farming I am discovering, even on a tiny scale.

    Webb, I have made a real effort not to moan, it would be too easy and not fun reading!

    F in the F, Bring on the rain, big time. Not often say that.

    Hostess, is this climate change? It seems a bit extreme.

    Al - me too!! We could shimmy down Leyland high street and stop the traffic!!

    Ida, sounds blissfully damp your way. I never usually say this kind of thing, I love sunshine, but it has got daft here!

    A - we are in the same, impossibly dry corner of England, such a shame to lose seedlings, I know how it feels. The poppy is Papaver Perry's White, I posted a label which I should have done anyway. Needs a bit of staking. The seed pods look vaguely rude - you'll see what I mean if you grow it!!;)

  11. A - I mean the poppy buds, not seedheads!

  12. Even my hollyhocks look a little shrivelled. It is a bit worrying isn't it? Are there partcular bouquets and posies you had planned that have been thrwon off kilter? Perhaps it will all come right in the next month or so. Verbascums though! Too early!

  13. Hi Belinda,

    Oh you had rain......We are still waiting for a few drops. There are heavy clouds over Rotterdam at the moment, but nothing seems to be happening. I am still hoping. The garden is sooo dry!! There are cracks in the ground everywhere and my seedlings.......they look a lot like yours.....

    Please send some of those rain clouds over the Channel!!

    Lieve groet & happy new week,

    Madelief x

  14. The birds in my garden have been kicking up their heels and having a party since the wet stuff came down. Hope your lovely flower patch picks up now they have had some precipitation!

  15. We had the first rain last night, which I am really pleased about because, like you my garden is not looking healthy at the moment.. dusty and sandy. I'm slightly behind you by a couple of weeks i would say.. your poppies are lovely x

  16. In the middle of the dry spell I moved some Japanese Amenones only to read that they hate being moved...too late! I think they are recovering but look very sulky. Despite the drought I preferred the sun to April showers - though the plants may disagree.

  17. We've not had it quite as hard here near Bristol, and my heavy clay soil retains moisture well so I've not seen as much plant stress (we'll skip lightly over the poor droopy Astrantia, now much happier). Must be much harder when you are hoping to make some money from the garden. I love that verbascum + poppy combination.