Catching up, after a long winter

Saturday 4 May 2013

That was a long winter. I always think that, but this time it really was. Spring sprung much later than it usually does, and I’ve got photos to prove it. And my mum said so, so it must be true.

Seriously, I was shocked when a perusal of photos showed how slow this spring has been in arriving. This website is so old and venerable that when it began I was using a camera which used actual film. So the earliest photos of the garden aren’t dated, unless I got around to writing on the back of them, or on the wallet the prints came in, back from the developers. (The vague ‘April 1999′ isn’t helpful - a lot of growth happens through April from its beginning to its end, in most years if not in this one.) But I do have nine years worth of digital images, with that convenient datestamp, and from those I can fairly confidently state that this springtime growth was the slowest/latest I’ve seen in nine years.

When I noticed this I thought it was a couple of weeks behind the usual pattern, but on Wednesday talked to my mum, who reckoned it was four weeks behind. On Thursday bought some plants from a nursery - they had signs on the counter also mentioning this ‘4 weeks behind’.

All over the place climate change sceptics are saying ‘Global warming? You what?’

As the prolonged winter left me in hibernation for longer than usual I don’t have many photos of the garden until this last week or two, when things have warmed up and started moving. These photos were taken in three different years, around the same time in April, from the same place in the garden. Not exactly, as I haven’t marked a cross on the path to remind me where to stand exactly, but the chair is in the same place in all three, as it’s in the arbour-type-construction made from copper pipe. The plants have been moved around and changed, but it’s obvious the difference in growth in general:

Lush growth and flowers in the garden
22 April 2007. Orange tulip ‘Ballerina’ a highlight. The yellowish leaves: Philadelphus

Lush growth and flowers in the garden
16 April 2011. Orange tulip ‘Ballerina’ again, Philadelphus in the background, etc

Not much growth, lots of bare soil, in the garden
19 April 2013. Looks like March. Philadelphus (in the background, same place as 2011 photo above), only just coming in to leaf. Pots of tulip ‘Ballerina’ not yet in flower, and still in bud at the time of writing (3 May).

Green leaf