It seems quite surreal hearing about them declaring a drought in parts of the country. Scotland has had more rain than normal and here in the west, we’re not suffering a lack at all. If anything the opposite. In fact, as I write, it’s raining and the water butts are overflowing. It’s blinking cold as well for early June!
I’m convinced we’re suffering from climate change. We’ve always had unusual weather, even Victorian gardeners complained about poor summers, cold springs and lack of rain. The thing is we keep getting extremes. The coldest winter for 100 years, the wettest summer (a few years back) the driest spring on record, etc.
If it was simply a matter that we are getting warmer and drier, or wetter, we could cope but this uncertainty and extreme makes things very tricky. I said some years ago that coping with climate change was one of the biggest problems gardeners and growers would have to cope with. There’s a short article here about it: Coping with Climate Change
For those in the drought stricken east, there’s an article I wrote when we had the hosepipe bans on coping with dry and drought. Might be worth you reading: Growing Vegetables when there is a Hosepipe Ban as it covers some of the techniques for growing with a water shortage.
Yet More Digging
It didn’t seem like a huge task when I started. Val wants a decorative garden area with a herb garden next to the house. It’s overgrown with grass, so a bit of a job to dig over but shouldn’t take more than a couple of days.
I enjoy digging over, usually. It’s physically tiring but mentally relaxing. Just in with the spade, turn over and onto the next bit. I get a wonderful night’s sleep after a session. The brain’s switched off and the body drags you into the bed. It’s so satisfying as well, looking down the plot and seeing the results of your labours.
What I hadn’t realised was that this patch must have been a sort of rubbish dump. It’s not just stones and rocks, there’s pieces of roofing slate, pottery and broken glass; and they’re a nightmare. Finding a place where you can actually get the spade into the soil is a problem and then it’s almost excavation rather than digging. I’m filling the wheelbarrow with stones etc. every 3 square yards!
When you look around an area with lots of dry stone walls, you don’t grasp just how much work was involved building them and clearing the fields. It isn’t so much that they want the walls, hedges and fences are far easier to grow or build, it’s clearing the ground. Each rock has been dug and levered out, then carted over to the wall and placed. Some of the rocks are huge, they must have taken four strong men at least to lift them.
Anyway – see next entry on setting up raised beds for the rest of Saturday.