With the garden having been under water for – count ’em! – seven whole days – and no jokes about rice, please – there’s been precious little to do in the garden last week. It was also pretty cold – never got above 4°C – so little point planting. Since I was preoccupied by marking the exam papers of England’s youth, it didn’t bother me too much. It did make me reassess my plans for this square of land – not much point planting things in it that don’t like a really good bath in cold water every so often.
I am seriously considering investing in a growlight. Yes, I’ve got that geeky. Just imagine how much more stuff I could grow! I’ve been overwhelmed by the fact that some dedicated growers can get so much out of less than I have. One guy got 6,000lbs out of 1/10th of an acre. That’s just insanity!
I’m also trying to increase the range and variety of the things I grow as well, so that I’ve got a real balance. On one acre, it’s feasible to get 75 different varieties of things, if a little crazy. We’ll see. I’m not sure I can do 400 varieties when it’s just me!
I definitely think the spring worm has turned. Yesterday on my walk, it was too hot for a coat – just jumper and t-shirt weather – and I saw three butterflies. I think it was 11° or so. Unless we have a lovely snowy surprise, it would seem that the worst is over. At least, the butterflies thought so today. There’s plenty of gorse in bloom round here as well.
Wouldn’t it be perfect if you could plan the weather according to what you needed? I’d kind of like to have rain one day a week, or even two, and then beautiful blue skies like I had today. Don’t mind seasons, just don’t like moisture overly much. It’s why I live here.
In the city, there’s so much to do when it’s wet. It’s why I’m convinced that Manchester got all industrialised. There was nothing else to do.
When it’s persisting down, it reminds me a little of Kyoto, the rainiest place I ever was. I spent a lot of time hiding under umbrellas. The great thing about it is that there isn’t very much wind and so you can have all manner of nice umbrellas. Everyone in Japan has an umbrella, it seems, and there’s never spoke rage when you accidentally get hurt by one.
This is at the Heian temple in Kyoto. See how disciplined the umbrellas are? In England, it’s not like that. Umbrella use is akin to wielding a sword in the UK and I’ve sustained many an injury. Not only that, but in Manchester, the rain doesn’t just ‘fall’ – it kind of permeates every part of your being. In fact, an umbrella is more of a sort of shield. In Japan, you can make the most of the rainy days.
This is by the canal at the side of the shrine. It was just about in walking distance from where we stayed. I guess you can understand a little of my fascination with blossom when you see pictures like these.
I think I need to dust my scanner and rescan this though! Lots of dust specks…
Anyway, I’m feeling very glad that I took advantage of the mid-winter hiatus to get some stuff done. I can’t say I enjoy the rain like I did in Kyoto, though it was even more lovely when it stopped. Japan is a very watery country, it always seems to me. Despite the neon and pachinko parlours, much of it is very muted and soft. Despite the shinto orange, for example, it all still feels very gentle.
I hope the rain holds off this week and my garden can dry out a little so that I can get on with my preparations. I’m just thankful I’m not under snow. It was this time last year when it all descended and didn’t disappear again for way over two weeks.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!