Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Coldest Day of the Year

The last few days have been a bit mixed although it's certainly remained on the cool side even for January. After a cold dull weekend we were greeted with a foggy start to Monday but the fog lifted and the sun came out for a couple of hours before it clouded over again by lunchtime.
Temperature & Solar Radiation Records 22-24 January 2017
Tuesday morning has seen our coldest temperature of 2017 with the thermometer falling to -2.8°C (27.0°F).
Outdoors some of our daisies don't look too happy but a least the pot has survived the cold temperatures intact. That's not the case with our terracotta pots.
As you can see this terracotta pot by the pond and home to a hosta has decided to part company with its rim. Now we will have to decided if we like the look of a well weathered pot or do we repot our hosta into a new terracotta pot. I'm sure all the terracotta pots we buy reckon to be frost resistant but I've never really found they are.

Monday, 23 January 2017

New For Old

Apart from last Friday which was a nice sunny day we've had a full week of dull and gloomy weather. Before Friday it was dull and mild for late January but since Friday's sunshine it's been gloomy and cold with a touch of overnight frost and daytime temperatures not much above freezing.
Temperatures & Solar Radiation Records 16-22 January 2017
I had a quick look in the summerhouse to check on our remaining overwintering onions, shallots and Crown Prince squashes. They all look to be keeping okay and the onions and shallots are much drier now they have been moved from the allotment shed into the summerhouse.
To complete the cycle our onions and shallot sets for the new season arrived last week and are being stored in the summerhouse until planting time comes around.
I'll probably take the sets out of their bags and spread them out once I can find some suitable cardboard boxes for the job. I'll need to take care that the different onion varieties don't get mixed up.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Sunny Friday

Wouldn't you know it that no sooner had I blogged on Thursday about us not seeing any sunshine for most of the week than Friday turned out to be a lovely sunny day. The price for the sunshine was a drop of a few degrees in temperature.
Temperature Record 18-20 January 2017
In the cloud and murk of the previous few days the temperature had remained almost constant day and night but the clearer weather brought with it a rapid fall in temperature.

In the garden we've now  lots of bulbs pushing there way up out of the ground ready to put on a display in a few weeks time.
Of course as always the weather is determined to have the last word and, as I'm ready to post this blog, Saturday morning has returned to dull and cold with little hint of any sunshine breaking through the clouds.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Weather's In A Rut

Our weather is stuck in a rut at the moment. On the positive side it isn't stuck in a cold rut it's just gloomy and miserable all day long. It's beginning to seem like we'll never see a bit of blue sky again.
Temperature and Rainfall Details 17-19 January 2017
The temperatures haven't been anything special by day but haven't fallen away through the night due to the heavy cloud cover. I'd swap a bit of overnight frost for some daytime sunshine though.

We tried a bit of retail therapy on Tuesday at one of our local garden centres.
We weren't over impressed with the prices and came away empty handed which is unusual when we visit a garden centre. However, things looked up on Thursday when our main order of seeds arrived from Kings Seeds.
Spread out on the kitchen floor I couldn't help thinking that we are going to be very busy once Spring comes around. For now though everything is staying in its seed packet.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Anticyclonic Gloom

It seems our weather is going to be governed by high pressure this week but it doesn't mean we are going to have sunny days and frosty nights. We're going to have to put up with some dull days with drizzle or light rain on and off throughout the day.
Even the coming and goings of our feathered friends didn't remove the water droplets from the bird feeder on Monday.

Here's something different for a dull day.
I'm not sure how this will appear in your particular browser but by clicking on the image you should get a live animation of the predicted precipitation for 12:00 on 17 January 2017. Clicking here will also take you to the live image. It's possible to change the image to view the weather for anywhere in the world and it can also be changed to view temperatures, wind or other weather variables.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Winter Washing

It turned out to be a weekend of two halves. Saturday was sunny but cold and Sunday was milder and wet.
We decided to head down to the allotment on Saturday afternoon to winter wash the fruit trees.

I'm planning to give the trees another winter wash early next month before there are any signs of fresh new shoots.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Wow Did Some Potting Up

Friday was a cold day although it perhaps finished up slightly milder than the forecasters had suggested.
Temperature and Wind Chill for 13 January 2017
Although it wasn't blowing a gale there was a strong, cold, north westerly, breeze blowing all day making it feel much more like the wind chill temperature on the graph shown above. It wasn't a day I was planning to do anything outside. Then the delivery man knocked on the door.
Our new black raspberry plant "Jewel" had arrived. The big red label suggested it needed opening straight away so that the plant could be inspected and given a bit of immediate attention should it need any. It was a case of wrapping up warmly and heading for the greenhouse.
I needn't have worried too much as the plant had been well packed for its journey by Sutton's Seeds. Once unwrapped it was potted up in a decent sized pot where it can grow on until it's ready to be planted out in the allotment. It's funny how things seem to go missing when nothing's been done in the greenhouse for a few months. Finding a trowel, a decent sized pot not to mention some compost wasn't that easy. (You can read about why we chose a black raspberry on Sue's Blog here.)

The last time I looked in the greenhouse our banana tree had green leaves but the cold frosty weather has finished them off.
Our greenhouse doesn't have any protection against the winter cold at all. I gave up trying to keep it at a "cold" greenhouse or frost free temperature many years ago. Most things survive a normal winter but in a really cold winter I accept that we will have a few loses.
Against all the odds this overwintering Osteospermum was doing its best to flower despite all around it were buds turning mouldy. Our potted patio rose is also overwintering in the greenhouse and has a flower bud.
I'm not holding out a lot of hope of it bursting into flower over the next couple of days.

Friday, 13 January 2017

By The Canal

Thursday was a much calmer day with yesterday's gales having abated. However, as the wind died down the temperature fell but that was to be expected as the last few days have been mild for January. Light snow had been a possibility but it didn't materialise and we had some very light drizzle instead.
Temperature and High Wind Speed Records 10-12 January 2017
I've spent some time trying to learn better focussing techniques with my camera. I've watched a few videos on YouTube which explain the various options. My main problem is switching between these various options when I'm using my camera in different situations. I tested a few settings out by the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
 Aire & Calder Navigation - Woodlesford Lock
 Aire & Calder Navigation - Woodlesford Lock
It was a dull and dismal afternoon, probably not the best for taking photographs, and it took a while for the camera to focus and allow me to take a picture. It was a little bit too cold for messing about with camera menus and settings. I might have to have another little test trip out to try out a few different settings.