Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

Boardwalk, Southrepps Common

Stump Cross

Village sign, Lower Southrepps

Friday 14th January - Two Layers Warmer and Looking for Signs of New Growth

The hot topic of village conversation is the unseasonal temperatures; we are currently enjoying 10-11°C during the day and according to today’s forecast (see my Accuweather widget on the Welcome page) this will hold until Tuesday, before seasonal norms return. Since moving to Overstrand we have learnt the art of layer dressing, we rarely feel cold in the winter and agree with Sir Rannulph Fiennes quote ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing’. My own quote for the past few days ‘Two layers warmer’, as we shed not only layers but gloves too and walked out with coats open on Thursday.

The question has arisen whether to tidy the garden, exposing and putting at risk fresh shoots should sub-zero temperatures return or, leave the dead matter which could provide refuge for unwanted pests such as slugs and snails. I have decided on the former action and made a start at the front today. It looks much improved and lifting the ground with the hand fork will let all important air into the top layer of soil. Our rhubarb crown is showing signs of growth and I have covered this with a large upturned terracotta pot to encourage its development. I took Martin Davey’s advice, (he writes a column each week in the Saturday edition of the EDP – see the Directories tab under Publications) and removed any dead leaves from the plants in the greenhouse, reducing the risk of botrytis and those pots with dry soil or compost where watered first thing. I fear I may have lost a number of geraniums overwintering on the staging; they seem to have suffered more in the cold than in the winter of 2009/10.
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