Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Aggravations of Weather

Sweet Autumn Clematis in the sunshine of last Thursday afternoon.
Several nights just below freezing have shriveled the leaves somewhat.
I suppose it was a given that our unnaturally warm winter would slide into a 'cold spell' that threatens premature growth.
In town many of the pink-flowered shrubs and small trees that might be expected to bloom late in March burst into glorious color nearly three weeks ago.  The glory was short-lived, as frosty nights turned blossoms to brown mush.

The is Clematis Candida transplanted from a seedling brought from our first Kentucky home.
It had only one blossom last spring, but that one identified the plant for me.
Nellie Moser and Candida had grown together for years, clambering over a make-shift trellis of chicken wire.  When I carefully potted up a small plant dug from the starts at the bottom of the new trellis which I installed there, I didn't know which variety I had.
The stems of my three clematis plants seem very fragile, almost brittle.
Candida has started to trail along the rough boards of the garden fence.

This was the largest of several buds discovered on Thursday.
The cold may have seared them enough to prevent opening.
I went out before dark this evening and tucked an old tablecloth and a bath towel over the trellises.
It may be 'too little, too late.'

Lady's Mantle emerging from a tangle of dead stems--hopefully it survives the cold weather.

These 'girls' are within a few days of being a year old.
They have enjoyed the sunshine and fresh green grass in spite of the blustery winds of 
the past few days.
As for me, I have somehow put my back 'out'--rather painful and with the added distress of vertigo.
I am annoyed with this unexpected down time, although the cats are delighted that I am spending hours tucked up in one rocking chair or the other.
I rarely watch TV, but Jim discovered the BBC series 'Escape to the Country' which we have been binge-watching for several evenings.
I have always hoped to see England and Scotland in person---something that I can safely say at this point in our lives is not going to happen.
We are enjoying the virtual tours of various English locations familiar from reading; having had some experience in buying and selling houses it is interesting to see what has been on the market in another setting.  Interior spaces seem smaller, especially the bedrooms, but there have been some lovely kitchens on display.
The gardens are so lush and beautiful, even when the outdoor property is very small.

Several more chilly days and frosty nights are in our forecast.
I've no wish to be outside in cold weather, but hoping that my back won't prevent me much longer from puttering at my usual projects. 
We are out of sorts with the time change--does anyone really like setting the clocks ahead?


  1. I love Escape to the Country too and often watch it for house prices etc.. It was very helpful when I was thinking of moving to Wales, but now I'm heading much farther afield!
    I hope your back feels better soon, enjoy the rest and cat cuddles, they're very healing.x

  2. Yarrow; 'Farther afield' sounds very mysterious! Our most ambitious move in 1998 took us 2100 miles from home--a vast upheaval.
    Thank you for your good wishes--its interesting that our backs can 'go out' so easily but seldom go 'in' without a visit to the chiropractor!

  3. Sorry to hear your back is out of kilter - like you, it's a shame they come out easily but don't go back in without expensive encouragement!

    I'm glad you are enjoying Escape to the Country - I used to record it and come down and catch up when I couldn't sleep. I love seeing other people's houses . . .

    Sorry that your Clematis got zapped by the sudden cold spell. Do you have any garden fleece you could use? It should keep the worst of the weather off nipping tender little buds. Though as you have utilised a tablecloth and a towel, I dare say they do the job well.

    1. Jennie; We watched the last one of Escape to the Country last evening--25 episodes which seem to have been recorded in 2014. Jim and I choose the house we prefer and are usually surprised to find its not the one the prospective buyers found appealing.
      I left protective covers on the trellises all day yesterday--dreading to take them off and view the damage--several more cold days and nights to get through.

  4. Sorry about your back, hope it's all better soon. Love Escape to the Country, also. I actually like the homes on the lower end of the budget, they seem so cozy and fairy-tale like. Hope your cold weather doesn't do too much damage.


    1. Jane; Like you, we find the lower and middle priced homes more appealing--something we could imagine settling into.
      If my back had to play up at least I'm not missing weather that would be ideal to work in the garden!

  5. Sorry about your back being out. That happens to me about twice a year. Usually muscle relaxers finally allow it to get back to normal after a few days.

    It got down to 19 degrees here in Missouri last night. I only covered one of my David Austin roses with an old flannel sheet, I left it covered today because tonight it is supposed to be down in the twenties. I hope it won't be damaged by the cold or the sheet. My Zephrine Drouhine rose is so close to the house that I thought it would be safe. Its canes are so long and tall, I don't know how I would have covered it anyway. It was fully leafed out. Today the leaves were looking pretty limp. I hope it hasn't been killed off by this stupid cold snap.

    Yesterday it was cold, wet, windy and spitting snow most of the day. I had to run some errands. As I drove through my
    neighborhood, I noticed each yard had a robin or two in the front yard hopping around looking for something to eat. The poor little things had their feathers as puffed out as they could go, so much so that they were puffing out over their foreheads (I guess that is the robin's forehead). It looked for all of the world like they all had big surly scowls on their faces. Just like I did when I stepped out into that terrible weather. I keep reminding myself that Spring is just around the corner.

    I hate the time change. A couple of medicines I take need to be taken at certain times. Because of the time change I got out of the normal routine and completely forgot to take one of them on Sunday. Finally, on Tuesday I managed to get the last clock changed over to the new time.

    1. Susie; Several of my roses were fairly well leafed out. I know that I can cut them back and they will quickly revive, but it seems a shame. I'm more worried about the perennials which had popped out of the ground.
      I miss being able to feed birds but our outdoor cats are avid bird hunters and it doesn't seem right to lure them to a feeder with a cat waiting to pounce.
      A visit to the chiropractor has helped with my back, but I have a ways to go. Nothing like postponing a spring house cleaning!

  6. Sorry about your back.

    I love escape to the country. To me there is a huge difference in what they want in a home compared to other home buying shows. The history, the beautiful countryside, the gentle ways of the people, the wonderful homes make this show a real delight.

    Feel better soon.


    1. Rainey; The houses on this series seem like homes for real people--although we sometimes wonder why a particular offering is shown--if an 'outbuilding' is on the list of preferences, there should be an outbuilding in place!
      I am determined to 'feel better soon'--thank you!