Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Put Your Hosepipes Away!

I was delighted to see my cousin Lynda and her husband Chris over the weekend; they had travelled up from Leicestershire to see my mum and dad and we went out for a lovely tea at a local Italian restaurant in Cottingham East Yorkshire. Also with us was Lynda's daughter Suzanne and her partner Hedley who live in London. We don't see them often and it was a pleasure to chat and spend time with them.

The weather has been okay these past few days with a little more in the way of showers which are much needed and surprisingly chilly nights which are not. No ground frosts thank goodness but the breezes do persist, knocking a few degrees off the temperature. Some really dark clouds and heavy summer showers this afternoon.

Now I'm not a tennis fan particularly, I'll watch it if I have to, you know, but unlike cricket which I could waste my life away watching, tennis does not have the same appeal. Imagine my surprise when I walk in and my other half has Eurosport on the satellite watching tennis at Queens, the forerunner to Wimbledon and Andy Murry is on (he won by the way.) What amuses me is that when he wins, he's British and when he loses, he's Scottish. Bizarre.

I notice once more the stories of potential hosepipe bans are hitting the news. Normally this is annual British Sport: three weeks without significant rain and the hosepipe ban looms. It seems on this occasion, it looks more likely this year. Spring rainfall in the UK was only 86.9mm, the lowest since 1893 apparently. Our friends in Ireland and Western England and Scotland might not agree however, they seem to have had a lot of rain recently.

Here are some tips from the BBC about gardeners coping with the dry weather (click on the link for more info):
  • Scrape back the surface to make sure water goes to the roots
  • Re-use house water, collect rain water
  • For vegetables, step up watering two weeks before eating
  • Water late at night so it's absorbed before evaporating
  • Add a layer of mulch to keep moisture in
  • Don't cut the lawn too short in the summer
  • Put soaked newspaper under crops that need lots of water
  • Use screens or windbreaks to reduce effects of drying winds
Seems to be a lot of work?

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Chat soon



  1. We've been in a drought for several years -- but we do live in what is technically a desert climate. However we had so much rain this winter we are actually a couple of inches above average.
    That may not seem like much but when our typical average is only 10 inches a year it's significant.

  2. Here in eastern NC we are in drought conditions and it's been unseasonably hot for this time of year. Feels more like July and August. Fortunately, there is a sea breeze where I live. We've had no significant rain for some time now and the crops are starting to dry up in the fields. Farmers have really been taking a beating in recent years. I say a little prayer every day for some rain. I would love to have a wee bit of that chilly night air over this way.


  3. A couple of weeks ago the River Derwent (which I cross from time to time) was up to its limit and threatening to burst its banks after a couple of days of heavy showers. Last weekend we visited the local reservoir and it was well below its proper level. What happened to all that water? Did it really just flow into the sea?

    We really need to learn to control out water supply better in this country. (end of rant - sorry - it's just a sore point of mine......)

    BTW - where in Leicestershire? I'm near the airport.

  4. According to Paul Simons in the Times, this weather will probably continue all summer.

  5. Hi ChrisJ
    It was fascinating when we went to Vegas last year and visited the Hoover Dam on the way to the G Canyon, that the water levels of the dam were extremely low because there was less snow melt water from the mountains apparantly. It's all over the shop!

    Hi Gale - thanks for popping in and commenting...
    It must be very difficult, I know farmers here are worried that the lack of rain so far in some cases has caused stunted growth in crops. We should be much better at irrigation shouldn't we and de-salination from the sea?

    Hi MorningAJ
    I absolutely agree. Are more dams and reservoirs the answers? I have no idea. I know they are working hard on putting a piping system in to move water around the country, but there must be more to it than that.

    Hi Weaver
    Oh dear if only we could rely on longer range forecasting. They all have different views don't they. I don't want to spoil anyone's UK holiday - but bring on the rain for a bit.

  6. Hi MorningAJ
    Sorry - forgot - Ashby de la Zouche

  7. Oh - that's very close to us! About eight miles I think. Nice place. Great indoor market.