I decided not long after first tackling the new garden here in Sandwich to NOT work the remainder of the 2020 season. I’d had enough of gardening for the year and wanted to take a break.
It was the best decision to make considering the heatwaves we are experiencing here in parts of the UK. Of course it isn’t an ordinary heatwave – it’s a climatical heatwave – one of those pre-apocalyptic heatwaves – you know the ones that are spelling out loud and clear there is a problem of serious consequence in more than the wind and the water. Yeah, it’s one of them! I have enough followers who know l am not talking bollocks on account of their own eco-orientated viewpoints of the world and the climate control issues we are all now facing.
2020 has been if anything all about the word unprecedented and that can be attached to everyone in one way or another and not just the weather. [Let’s not forget the Australian horrors of this year shall we?] But with regards the latter we have had down in Kent some real scorchers that have topped seriously detrimental heat scores – sure other countries around the world experience these as regularities but here in the UK we don’t.
I can on one hand count hot summers since 1977 when l arrived back from Australia to live in this country. The previous year 1976 was an incredibly hot summer as indeed according to my parents was my birth year 1963. Those British summers for me personally, and l was not unused to heat per se – were 1984, 2003, 2006, 2018 and this year 2020. 1953 was also reported to be an extremely hot year in the summertime.
Below is the grid of heat observation from my perspective concerning British Summers getting hotter and hotter quicker and quicker!
Looking at them like that looks innocent enough right?
But those are mostly the heatwaves of the entire width and breadth of the British Isles as in we all shared the same heat at the same time. But it doesn’t include microseasonal heatwaves as in those ‘not’ shared by the entirety of the UK and if those were added in what an observer would start to see more clearly is not just sporadic summers from 1953 with what seems like a build up since the turn of the century – but they would then see a more alarmingly exponential build up of increased heats since 1953, but more importantly since 1976.
Recent Met Office reports have further displayed this increment as more astonishing from the year 2002 with the top ten hottest years since then being as such … on a localised level l can relate to several of those years as well especially 2011, 14 and 17 on account of my locations in Lincolnshire on the Fens and here in Kent.
Weather around the world has not just merely been slightly changing but distinctly, significantly and profoundly altering and for the UK alone the link supplied in this post provides some astonishing comparisons between the coldest winters and the hottest summers.
It comes down to one base line thought .. whether people like it or not or acknowledge it or not – the climate is changing and to a certain degree out of control and in many ways we are the only ones to blame.
Already 2020 as a UK summer is claiming the prize for being one of the hottest ever recorded since 1884. The USA are also predicting 2020 has a very high chance of being one of the hottest years since heat measurements actually began! On a worldwide level weather experts are further suggesting with almost 100% conviction that 2020 will be one of the five hottest summers of all global time!
What’s the big deal l am making though? Who gives a second thought to a country having a hotter summer than normal .. right? Sure – if it was a ‘natural warming’ event as in a unusual season that gifted a hotter weather front .. sure that would be great! But these recent summer heats are actually down to climate changes which are shifting quicker each year.
Covid 19 may well be one of the biggest pain in the ass events to society, but it did allow for a significant drop in worldwide emissions BUT, even with that – climate change and abnormal weather conditions such as current UK 2020 are still continuing and this is alarming all the environmental experts and for good reason.
From my personal perspective and not just as an environmentalist but as an eco-organic gardener and a concerned member of society – the very balance of our world , the inner energies of the core of the planet – the essence of Mother Nature herself has been seriously disrupted! Worse than that is mankind upset the apple cart … and this means that we now face a future of climate peril and uncertainty for the rest of our times.
With the apple cart being upset already in my neck of the woods on so many levels but mostly personal and physical and mental exertions – l decided to just observe the new garden this year for the remainder of 2020 and see what played out. I transferred a small % of the last garden to this garden but in the main all l have done as you will see in the next couple of episodes is to continue to run a low maintenance container garden and await certain growings to die down and then next year l will recommence the gardening season somewhere in the later spring months.
This year gardening wise – irrelevant to everything discussed here – was already suffering due to the arrival of lockdown and heat combined and a sudden surge of new wannabee panicked ‘we’ll have no food!’ gardeners and so items of seasonal value l had ordered long before the lockdown in March were suddenly on very long waiting lists and instead of arriving in March, April and early May only started appearing from mid April to later May – this made gardening in certain quarters virtually impossible to achieve success with.
Additionally, things l had planted like previous years in very early spring struggled to get a root hold – the list of ailments is long – but makes for one more learning curve – what this year will do and serve as however is a landmark of futher confusions for the next handful of seasons as to what will grow and what will not grow due to increasing levels of climate change. So keeping a low gardening profile with this new garden is the current way forwards. A sort of suck and see situation ..
Last episode l talked about what l would be looking at with the series and the first stages of taking the Secret Garden on board on the 6th July – the following gallery is the next day – the 7th July and the changes l started to make.
The first major thing l noticed here was the sheer size of the courtyard and as such the garden itself – it is way bigger than you initially think on account of the clutter that occupied it in the early days. Once that was shifted not so much ‘out’ but into defined areas you were able to quickly assess and access other parts of the garden itself.
I am naturally an orderly and methodical person so it stands to reason from my point of view to tidy the garden – which is what l started to do on the 7th July. Identifying weaker areas, pot bound and dead plants, heavily weeded areas, plants that needed pruning and trimming and basic care and general tidy ups.
Six hours after starting that Tuesday morning – l had tidied the area, brushed it all up, set up – the potting soil cubes, a recycling area, a seedling zone, emptied the shed out and started to make that usuable, cleaned and scrubbed out pottery, started filling the worm farm, cleaned out the refuse bins, weeded the entire 45 feet length of garden – yeah l have that right folks – from the back patio doors to the gate is 45 feet. It’s in some places only 9 feet wide and in others 10 and 12. But it has a lot of versatility if you play to it and feed it.
By the time l left that day the garden was ready to take on board the Hillyfield garden completely. The bird seed bins had been established, the seeders placed , the shed made ready for expansion [it is a small shed], l had established a small bug/hedgehog hotel [behind the table behind the bush], the wormeries were awaiting filling and resident transfer and the conservation side of gardening had been planned.
The secret garden was ready to start ……
Welcome to the Secret Garden folks see you next time!