Saturday 5 May 2012

May or February?

Its certainly a hideously cold start to May. The Bank holiday weekend is set to bring more rain, low temperatures and frost - nice! Of course the Hillier Chelsea plants are mostly under glass or polythene. However the big trees are vulnerable - they are outside and a sharp overnight frost can do considerable damage to new leaves.
Probably the biggest challenge will be getting things into flower.  This time last year rhodos, azaleas, even roses were in cold storage to hold them back.  This year many of the same plants are in tight bud. We need warmer temperatures and some decent daylight. Light levels even effect the foliage plants such as the Japanese maples.  At the moment their leaves are thin and soft and lack intensity of colour and weight - sunshine would change that.
I can't believe we start on site on Friday - it seems ar too early. I think the way I feel about Chelsea is the same as gardeners are feeling everywhere. We all think its February and far to early to get going with veggies and summer bedding - but if we don't start soon the season will soon be over!
I do pity the poor folks on those outside gardens. One has visions of creating something wonderful out in the sunshine - not shivering in the rain and mud with temperatures in the single figures.  At least we will be dry in the Pavilion - but I will certainly pack my thermals!

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