Garden Views -11- November 2015

November began with a stunning clear sunny day, continuing the theme of the wonderful autumnal colour in the garden from October.SDIM4970 (2)SDIM4976 (2)SDIM4986 (2)SDIM4963 (2)SDIM4981 (2)

Things then rapidly deteriorated, and there was only one other day without rain in the next 2 months. A total of 353.5 mm for the month nudging it into second place in the Gelli wettest month stakes, a position it retained until December!S1010010 (2)Although we know it’s a fairly damp part of the world, like many areas, we are now realising that there is no reason why there is an upper, or lower, limit to anything the weather will send your way. And we need to plan accordingly.  S1010011 (2)S1010014 (2)There was a very brief light dusting of snow mid month, hinting at wintry weather which never again surfaced in 2015.SDIM5084 (3)

Almost more depressing were the very low light levels, making it the gloomiest November in Wales for 80 years, apparently – a feature reflected in the very low levels recorded by our PV system through these 2 months.SDIM5188 (2)SDIM5124 (2) An additional feature was how exceptionally mild it was most of the time, with only a single frost in the garden, throughout November, and none in December!SDIM5097 (2)SDIM5102 (2)SDIM5113 (2)

Autumn leaf colour soon disappeared as leaves fell, and completing any of the normal garden tidying tasks for this time of the year became progressively more difficult as the ground became saturated. SDIM5098 (2)Our general demeanour wasn’t helped by losing any internet connectivity for nearly 2 months, taking us into early 2016.S1010013 (2)

But it proved to be the ideal conditions to start clearing ditches in our bottom wet meadows, where all the flowing water aided creating good, even, gradients, and doing this manually proved to be a brilliant form of aerobic exercise for both of us, though we ended up plastered in mud after a session. Below is Fiona, before beginning a stint with the Chillington ridging hoe…SDIM5151 (2) Any prospect of getting machinery onto these fields disappeared, as the ground was so waterlogged.S1000006 (2)

Compare with previous Novembers and you’ll notice the almost complete lack of striking sunrises. Why? Because there was only one morning where we (nearly) saw the sun rising directly above the horizon.SDIM5079 (2)