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Rainy days....

  • Rainy days....

Gardening is always at the mercy of the weather. That of course is one of it beauties (the chance to work in harmony with nature - ha!) and its downsides - especially if d your opportunities to get out in the garden are limited. It's one of life's annoyances that after a sunny week locked in the office, watching the spring glass explode into growth, that the moment you have time to get out with the lawnmower, the skies darken and the rain comes in.

This year the weather has been somewhat crazy. We've had the beast form the east, an unexpected week of summer, then back to cold and wet, And garden tasks often won't wait. I've just spent a very dark and gloomy weekend cramped in my greenhouse, potting on 270 mini plugs into proper pots. If don't do it soon after they arrive the poor things don’t survive (and the slugs miss their annual feed…..) so it was one of those jobs that had to be done irrespective of the weather.

The weather's also always a challenge for us at Thrive when we are running out therapeutic gardening sessions. You can have a wonderful planned out day - and then incomes the rain and everything has to change (although too much sun can also be a challenge with lethargic clients (and therapists!) hiding in the shade or taking long tea breaks to enjoy the warmth!). This is where the design of the garden is important.

We're lucky to have a large glass house and polytunnel which are great to work in at this time of the year - and have easy access to get wheelbarrows of compost and plants in. The compost is stored outside but we also keep some bags in the dry. We have power and water down there (although it would be useful to have hot water - would make winter pot washing more pleasant!) so we are pretty well set up for wet weather. At home it’s a different matter - my garden slopes and the green house is at the bottom corner and the shed (compost, pots etc) at the far opposite corner. There's no electricity or water at either, so pot washing requires bowls of water or a very understanding family who don’t want to use the kitchen sink.

One day I'm going to invest in a proper potting shed, with room for compost, pots a large workbench, wheel barrow (and me and a kettle!) and I'm going to site it right next to the greenhouse. Either that or maybe a small alpine railway running between the green house and the shed?

So maybe a rainy day is a good opportunity to have a think about the layout of your garden.. And gardeners are always an optimistic bunch. Next week's weathers looking good…

" god sends rainy days so that gardeners can get the housework done…)

Comments (3)

  1. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    "housework", Trish? What is this "housework" of which you speak? (laughs)

    You are so right, there is a great deal more to garden design than "big ones at the back, small ones at the front, don't use orange". (Don't laugh, that's a precis of a gardening design qualification which I took several years ago.) I am always asking Clients if I can, for example, put stepping stones into deep flower beds or borders, so that I can get in there to weed without crushing the soil on wet days.

    And for something like the Thrive garden, It is vital to have a covered area for working in inclement weather: there's nothing more likely to depress the spirits than standing outside in the rain trying to learn something, or to teach it, with rain dripping down the back of the neck!

    I was recently privileged to have a sneaky peek at the new Sow & Share garden down in lovely Somerset, and I was particularly impressed with their "bubble" or small polytunnel, which was fitted out with shelving, work and storage space, but which still had lots of room for standing, working, and watching. Perfect for all those windy, rainy days of summer!

  2. Grower

    Trish Matthews

    Sounds brilliant - just what you need. - although I think I'm also on for a wood burning stove/heater in the corner of my potting shed for the rainy days of winter :-) And can I justify a rocking chair as gardening equipment?

  3. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Oooooh - a wood burning stove!! I have always wanted a brick-built potting shed with huge windows, big work benches, and a wood burning stove.

    And lots of racks so I can keep the pots in size order. And another work bench for woodworky jobs, with a vice. And a bench-press drill. And a band saw.

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