Thursday, 16 January 2014

Mid Winter Report

I'm sure readers in other parts of Britain will have had much worse weather in the first half of winter than we've had in Ossett.

For us the most significant aspect of the winter as we arrive at the midpoint has been how mild it’s been. So far frosts have been very infrequent and we certainly haven’t had any harsh frosts.
These geraniums are growing in our neighbour’s front garden, I hope he won’t mind me taking this picture of them, but as you can see they are still in flower almost in a state where they need dead heading in the middle of January. They are protected by a bay window which prevents them from becoming waterlogged.
Now it’s hasn't all been wonderful as we had some very windy weather, especially in December and you can see from the chart above we've had rain on lots of days but no above average amounts. December itself produced less rainfall than we might expect but we've already had 81% of January’s rainfall with just one dry day recorded so it might turn out to be a wetter than average month. 

The chart shows that so far we've only had three occasions where the temperature has fallen beneath the thick blue line representing 0°C.

In our front garden not far away from the still in flower geraniums our winter jasmine is in flower and beneath the carpet of dead leaves spring bulbs are pushing their way up through the soil.
In another part of the garden our banana plant (musa basjoo) is decidedly worse for wear but I've seen it looking an awful lot worse in the middle of winter. 
Finally the above chart shows just how mild the winter’s been to date. I wonder what the second half has in store for us. Our local weatherman suggested tonight that the weather would more than likely continue in the same vein to the end of the month. Will that purple line on the chart fall below or stay above the red line for the winter of 2007 which was one of the mildest on record?

From the Met Office figures for the Central England Temperature database I think the top five mildest winters are as shown in the table below. The current average winter temperature for Ossett is 6.57°C so at the moment anything is possible.


  1. I'm interested to see your banana plant, do you need to cover it if the weather gets really cold? The geraniums are amazing; I saw some roses still blooming next to the boys' school this week.

    1. We've had our banana plant a good number of years now. I used to go to all sorts of trouble to protect it over winter. A wrapping of straw held in place with chicken wire and a plastic cover to help keep the wet off. Even with all this protection it had to be cut down to almost ground level in spring but once growing it soon got head high.

      After a few years I just cut it down to ground level in autumn, covered the roots with straw and that worked too.

      For the last couple of years it's managed with no protection at all. It's just been cut back in spring and left to re grow. Perhaps a really harsh winter might see it off.

  2. Replies
    1. It would normally have been killed off by frost or snow by January Endah.


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