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Tuesday 22 January 2013

Winter Temperatures So Far

Tuesday was a much better day with the sun even managing to make an appearance in the morning and early afternoon before it clouded over again. It was the first time for about a week that the sun had managed to break through the cloud cover.

Outside it felt much pleasanter in the sunshine even though the temperature only made it up to a maximum of 1.7°C. So far though winter hasn’t been too cold despite the last couple of weeks of cold weather.

In the early part of January 2013 our average winter temperature was above that of 2007 the warmest in recent years. The last couple of weeks have brought the average tumbling down. It’s anybody’s guess where the orange line will finish when we arrive at the end of February.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Appearing Again

Wednesday was a cloudy cold day but despite the low temperatures the lying snow did thaw a little bit and parts of the garden started to emerge from beneath the blanket of snow.  

This hellebore was pictured on 12 January. The cold snap had started but the snow hadn’t arrived. Optimistically it was the first real sign of spring but then the snow arrived and confirmed it was definitely winter and not springtime.  

The snow has gradually stated to thaw and our hellebores will hopefully continue to flower after a couple of weeks in the deep freeze.

Thursday 24 January 2013

Steady Thaw But?

Thursday was a dull day but nevertheless the slow thaw continued as the temperature soared to an almost tropical 2.4°C. That’s our warmest day since the 15 January

Our hosta pots still have a top hat of snow. We’ve never given our hostas any winter protection so the assumption is that they will survive this cold spell. Overnight into Friday morning was once again very cold with the temperature down to -4.8°C.

We’re now due one more heavy snowfall tonight and into Saturday morning before mild, wet and windy weather sweeps in from the west over the weekend bringing to an end our current cold spell.

Friday 25 January 2013

Missed It!

Although it remained dull and cloudy all day it was just warm enough for a slight thaw to take place. The main event of the day was to be the heavy snowfall in the late evening and into Saturday morning. Fortunately for us we missed the brunt of the storm but from Twitter it would seem that even locally around Wakefield there has been some heavy snowfall with council gritting teams out trying to clear the roads.

Yesterday’s hostas in their top hats just got an extra little coating overnight.

Saturday morning has started off sunny and milder with the temperature at 4.3°C (at 10:44) and the snow is thawing rapidly. Our garden is quickly loosing its white blanket.

Now its down to counting how many birds descend on our feeders today as part of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. Don’t forget to do your bit. You can find details of how to take part here.

Saturday 26 January 2013

Wet But Not Much Rain

The thaw set in properly on Saturday as the temperature rose to 6.2°C. All the snow and ice stored up in the rain gauge funnel melted and by early evening it amounted to 16.6mm of rainfall. Then mid evening it started to rain even though the snow hadn’t completely thawed. In the end we’d had 19.8mm of precipitation making it a wet day although it had only rained for a couple of hours.

Now the snow has gone our hellebores are continuing to put on a display as though the snow and frost had never occurred.

The forecast for the week ahead is for the milder weather to remain as we head into an unsettled few days with wind and rain set to be the main features rather than snow or frost.

Sunday & Monday 27/28 January 2013

Is Spring On The Way?

The milder windy weather has seen the last of the snow disappear. The birds have suddenly gone missing from the garden so perhaps they’re finding food in the fields and hedgerows and not having to rely as much on garden feeders.

I can’t resist the temptation to look  for signs of spring in the garden. I know it’s far too early to expect spring to arrive as February can often be a very cold month. Still I spotted the first signs of a crocus in the front garden.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

New Seeds

Tuesday was mild and windy with a few squally showers included for good measure. The temperature soared into double figures reaching 13.7°C which is the warmest day of the year and the warmest day since 20 November last year.

Our seeds arrived from Kings Seeds a reminder that the new growing season will soon be here. Although there is a temptation to start sowing straight away I wont be doing much sowing before the beginning of April. That’s my plan will I be able to stick to it!

Some of these seeds are to share with a friend but …?

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Gale Force

Wednesday got off to a pleasant start with some winter sunshine but it didn’t last long and by late morning the wind had become gale force blowing in squally rain showers. In our sheltered suburban garden we don’t get the high wind speeds recorded by the “proper” weather stations but it’s rare for us to measure gusts of 30 mph as we did yesterday.

The last time we had such strong gale force winds was January last year. December and January do seem to be the most likely months for such strong winds. January 2012 holds the record with 8 gusts recorded between 31 and 35 mph.

Perhaps things will settle down a little as we move into February.

Thursday 31 January 2013

More Arrivals

Thursday was another day of gale force winds, sunny spells and squally showers.

Following close on the heels of our seeds arriving from Kings Seeds on Tuesday some of our seed potatoes arrived from JBA Potatoes today. It’s the first time we’ve ordered from this particular supplier and I had wondered about the quality of the potatoes supplied.

They arrived very well packed and the quality of the seed potatoes supplied looks very good. I’ve now got to decide whether to store the potatoes in the garage for a few weeks where they will be more protected from any keen frosts or set them out in tray to chit in the greenhouse. I’m tending towards the garage for a couple of weeks at least.

Last year’s potatoes moved into the greenhouse at the end of January but in 2011 it was the end of February before they were set out to chit.