Bad Weather - Wet Field

I need to apologise.

Phil's FloodThe rubbish weather we’ve recently experienced at the start of spring is all my fault. I take full responsibility, I will try to do better and no one else was involved. I will try to be a force for good (weather) in the future. I will accept my punishment and get on with gardening. I feel I have let all good gardening people down, the children who I so want to encourage into this great hobby and of course, my parents (with thanks to the Australian cricket team for guidance on that wording).

You see, I bought a bench for the garden. And whenever I do anything like that, the weather turns nasty. The same happens when I hire a skip. It always - always - snows. And now the curse has struck the bench. I actually ordered it a few weeks ago, the day after some snow, and delivery was Easter Saturday. The day before the floods. OK, the little brook / stream-like thing 10 metres from the front of the house overflowed depositing silt onto the road (closed for three hours causing traffic chaos to at least one bus, four cars and even a horse that was scared of water) and, to be honest, three damp patches on the cellar floor. But it was my fault. We have all suffered because of my actions.

Phil's waterbuttYou may have noticed one of my recent top tips in the GLG newsletter: ‘Install a water butt to save water’. It seems futile advice now as my superbly drained, sloping lawn remains squelchy; even the soil in my raised beds is sodden and endless football matches around the UK are postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

‘Buy a pump, a small inflatable dinghy and life jackets complete with whistle, toggle torch and ‘blow in here’ valve to re-inflate’ would be closer to the mark. Water butts indeed! Mine is overflowing and making a proper stain down the back of the shed.

Phil's Bluebells and Snowdrops PlantedThen I bought some snowdrops and English bluebells. A birthday treat. What could be better?  Birthday cake, Easter eggs, 1000 snowdrops and 500 bluebells all rolled into one? A decent day to plant them would have been nice. Well, actually, I did kind of get that. Except for some strange reason the day before I planned to plant them (got them on Easter Saturday morning in the sun and then the heavens opened turning the soil to mud), my left knee locked and swelled up and was more painful than - dare I say - chapped lips. I know, it was that bad. So, on the only decent day I could plant the things, Easter Sunday up to mid-afternoon, I was hobbling, squealing and wincing. I will now always remember the pain when I see the blooms. And they had better perform for decades to come.  

So, with a bit of reverse psychology type thinking, I am going to buy a new balaclava, thermal gloves, long johns (sorry if this image has put you off your mid-morning custard creams) and super-tog thermal coat. My thinking is that if I spend on something to keep out the cold and wet, the weather will turn warm. Because that’s how things work. Obviously.


Phil's Cake Tin♦ I have no sympathy whatsoever for cheating in sport.
♦ The shed is pressure treated and the damp will dry off. No worries.
♦ Birthday cake: homemade. Buttercream and raspberry jam filling. Excellent.
♦ Easter Eggs: Cadbury's Mini Eggs are the best. Fact.
♦ Snowdrops and bluebells: best planted ‘in the green’ ie when they are still growing. They grow away better than dry bulbs. Only buy from wildflower companies who grow their stock / know where their stock comes from. Ask if in doubt. Ask me if still in any doubt.
♦ Chapped lips: worse affliction ever. Other than swollen knee.
♦ Swollen knee: mysteriously went as quickly as it arrived. Strange. All good now.