What a weird year

  carver 20 Nov 11
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Answered

This year has been so weird as regards the weather, start of the year I had plants killed because of the extreme cold that had been growing for years.

During the summer we had no rain to speak of for weeks but I had the biggest crop of apples and pears in all the 15 years we have lived here, the apple trees are still full of fruit (got fed up of picking them)we had so many pears we couldn't give them away, finished feeding them to the horses.

Now I'm just tidying the garden up and found daffodils pushing up through the soil and a bridal wreath spirea bush that is flowering that is supposed to flower in spring http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=bridal+wreath+spirea+bush&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1187&bih=713&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=hRO30Leb3pRazM:&imgrefurl=http://www.gardensandplants.com/uk/plant.aspx%3Fplantid%3D3206&docid=ddNcNYqCApebM&imgurl=http://www.gardensandplants.com/images/plants/Spiraea%252520x%252520vanhouttei.jpg&w=600&h=400&ei=SuvITvPbFNHZ8gPOgsSJAQ&zoom=1 and a Climbing Geranium that has started to bud, snow drops are coming through.

The grass is still growing, I've cut it more in the past month than I did in the middle of summer.

  Forum Editor 20 Nov 11

Plants use two indicators to tell them when to get going:-

  1. Soil temperature.
  2. Light - both its intensity and the length of the daylight hours.

What's happening is that the usual winter indicator of falling soil temperature isn't happening, or at least not when it 'normally' does, so plants are fooled. Not just plants either - the fish in my pond are continuing to be active and are feeding normally, some time after they would have descended to the bottom and stopped feeding for the winter. Almost unbelievably, swallows have been sighted flying on Teeside.

Our big Magnolia tree is showing every sign of flowering for the second time this year,and I saw bees flying in the sunlight on Friday.

  Aitchbee 20 Nov 11

The nest building arrangements of wild birds also come into the weave of things 'natural',when the plants' growing patterns are slightly off kilter.

  bjh 20 Nov 11

Well I'm still cropping tomatoes and peppers from my outdoor growbags and, more surpisingly, I am looking forward to a small helping of fresh strawberries. Not many, I'll grant you, but several different varieties have ripe fruit, and there are more flowers and fruit coming. It is seaside Kent here (and the sun is out), but I've never had strawberries from the garden in November!

  carver 20 Nov 11

I've just finished cutting the lawns for the second time this month and then had to spend another 3/4 hour again cleaning the mower to get shut of all the grass build up so I can put it away (hopefully) till spring.

Best part is the amount of wasps that are still flying about feeding of the apples that are still coming of the trees (any body want any cooking apples).

But I have to admit the grass is looking the best is has done nearly all year, nice and green and not till today did I realise that we have at least 4 wrens coming into the garden.

It's only 4 weeks to the shortest day of the year.

  Aitchbee 20 Nov 11

carver - I'll swap you three bag of leaves for ten 'cookers' ;o)

  carver 20 Nov 11

AitchBEE would that be 10 *bags *of apples, seems reasonable to me.

  Aitchbee 20 Nov 11
Answer

...I see what you mean, carver.

  robgf 20 Nov 11

I saw two male blackbirds fighting on Tuesday, obviously over mating rights.

I work part time as a gardener and the amount of plants flowering twice has been surprising, The Ceanothus have had a better second display, than the first and Japanese Anemone are putting up new growth. It's a bit sad really, as when the first hard frost eventually hits, it will all be killed and I suspect that flower shows will be poorer next year, as plants have expended a lot of energy this year.

On the plus side, where customers don't want winter bedding, they still have some very good displays, with Geraniums, Begonias, Cosmos, Calandula, Malope and Clary still going strong.

  Aitchbee 20 Nov 11

carver - 4 wrens in your garden, you are a lucky so and so.

  wiz-king 21 Nov 11

Yup - I have flowers on my strawberries, butterflies fluttering round the garden, that's after a couple of frosty mornings last week.

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