“History never repeats itself; at best it sometimes rhymes”. So said Mark Twain, apparently.
I think the same sentiments could be expressed about the appearance of any garden from year to year, and as I write this on New Year’s day, I do at least have the chance to scroll back to see what was happening this time last year.
What a contrast between the last day of 2021, and January 1st 2022, above, with January 2021, below. Not much of a rhyme, frankly.
“January began with the garden and landscape under snow, a situation that continued until the 11th, with the temperature on many days never getting above freezing, and some very hard frosts, with minus 12 degrees C registered one morning, and often minus 5 degrees C by 3 pm in the afternoon as the sun fell away”.
The Met Office have just confirmed December as the gloomiest ever in the UK as a whole (sorry M.O., but judging by our PV records here, December 2015 (22 KWH) was even gloomier than 2021 (39 KWH)😊.
We’ve also just had the highest ever UK New Year’s Eve temperature at Bala, Wales, of 16.5 degrees C, followed by a new Welsh record January daily minimum temperature of 12.8 degrees C at Trawsgoed (Dyfed).
This morning at 6.00 a.m., this was the reading outside our own front door, in a strong breeze heading up from The Azores. So, in the space of 2 years we’ve gone to the opposite extremes of (current) temperature possibilities for early January weather. A familiar violent oscillation of weather conditions that wherever you are in the world, you’re probably now becoming accustomed to.
With that beginning to the year, what predictions have I for the rest of 2022, and its impact on the garden?
I’ve absolutely no idea, but with having to trawl through all my images from the blog in 2021 by this coming Thursday, to pick just my favourite 3 to grace my annual blog book, I’m including below a selection of images in chronological order from just the first 3 months of 2021. All in one place, to remind myself what we might have ahead of us. Although as Twain expresses, even a loose resemblance to these scenes would probably be the best we can hope for, as weather and light tweak the gardener and photographer’s hoped for results.
Or to crib from Eric and Ernie’s classic sketch from 1971, we’ll probably get all the same garden displays, but not necessarily in the same order, or playing to their 2021 standards. Some will be better, some will be worse. Such is the joy of gardening in West Wales, in a changing climate.
Happy New Year.