It is that grim time of year when almost no sun comes into the garden and it looks like an untidy mess of dead stuff. It is a bit less untidy since I replaced my dead petrol lawnmower with a shiny new rechargeable battery one and had to try it out, despite the fact thatContinue reading Planning and planting
As in previous years, I judge how warm 2016 was by whether the grapes on my grape vine have bothered to ripen. Right now is the time to check, as we are well into November, and have had the first serious frosts. At least some of the grapes had ripened when I took this pictureContinue reading A good year?
Sigh. I am on strike for a couple of days. You might wonder what university lecturers do when they are on strike, and, indeed, why they bother. What we do while we are on strike probably differs a lot from person to person. I am not the sort of person who likes standing on picketContinue reading Out, sisters and brothers, out!
As I noted earlier in the year, we didn’t have a stellar summer. And the whole-season climate-integrating device confirms it: The grapes this year went directly from hard and green to sad and wrinkled, never becoming edible at all. The eating apples, on the other hand, have had a stellar year; how well they doContinue reading Apples and grapes
I’m beginning to hear from a variety of sources the opinion expressed that this summer is particularly disappointing. Both farmers and beekeepers were grumbling loudly on the radio this morning, while ski lift operators were cheering about how long the skiing season had lasted. I knew already that bees were not having a good summerContinue reading The summer so far …
Last summer I posted a picture of two broccoli plants that had refused to flower and had grown to a large size instead. I speculated at the time that a second winter might prompt them to produce an enormous crop. It did, sort of. The one on the right is a normal-sized plant on topContinue reading A land of giants: the followup
One of the things we go through for final-year students studying the Physics of the Climate system is the geometry that allows you to calculate how much sunlight you get at a given latitude on a given day of the year. The result looks like this. Up here at 56°N we get less than 5Continue reading Come back, Sun!
It is only just into December and the Meeja are already muttering that 2014 is on track to be the warmest year on record, both for the UK, and for the whole world. So it is probably time to report on whether my hi-tech whole-year climate-integrating device is in agreement. The answer seems to beContinue reading Warmest year? Grapevine says yes.
These two monsters are what is left of last spring’s purple sprouting broccoli crop. I have failed to get anything in the picture that provides a scale, but they are (my) chest height: so about 1.3m tall. Having been planted in 2013, the other plants did the usual thing earlier this year, producing a cropContinue reading A land of giants?
Just a quick update on what the blossom I posted about earlier in the year has turned into. The gooseberries have done well and been picked. The plums and cherries have been a big fat zero. As predicted, the cooking apples are looking good but the eating apples have fruit on only one tree outContinue reading Blossom: The update