If the title seems a little confusing, let me expand.

I’ve tried to keep a diary of sorts at the allotment, noting weather conditions,crops and sowing and harvesting details of said crops, and enerally recording what when and how about my visits over the last couple or three years.

Looking back is the main activity of a lot of plotholders at this time of year, partly due to the seasonal sparcity of cropable produce and partly because a lot of us are underwater. This means we spend a lot of our hobby time sitting in sheds either lusting over seed catalogues or manufacturing paper pots with those little shapers we had for Christmas. Given a nice warm stove and a comfy seat, many of us would spend a lot more time there but having neither, I have been reviewing two years of activity with a warm sofa and a cold beer at home instead.

I’m amongst friends when I say it’s all a bit wet out there this year but records say that’s not out of keeping.

My note book records that on 06/01/201 it was “Cold and sticky but no ice” but I did manage to dig up the last of the Mooli/Diakon and clear the remaining beds. I fell back on the old timewaster of turning the heap too. That’s an ideal exercise for dry cold days after the excesses of Christmas building up body heat and pumpimg blood to the tired and creaking parts

January 2012 had no entry at all, mainly due to the fact the whole site,like the country, was under a white blanket

I do recall that despite the foot deep covering my autumn sown onions had come through very well.

This bodes well. Very well, as the assumed threats of both extreme cold or flooding don’t have the damaging affect we thought they always did.

The advantage of keeping notes is that we can prove and not assume or worry that bad weather is either a terrifying new development sending us hurtling towards Armageddon or a freak occurrence from which we never recover. We’ve had both over the last few years and we’re still here, still growing and still eating. We also know from the records which crops and what methods work best given those weather ranges. We are very fortunate to be living on a small island with some of the widest ranging conditions known to the gardener and we should use that more. We can grow alpines and tropical plants in the same garden, the same street, town and county. Many of our foreign colleagues may seem to have ideal holiday climates but they are lucky to have maybe two different seasons over a year. We can have,as the New Zealand band Crowded House sang, (they also have a wide diversity of climate), Four Seasons In One Day.

Admittedly some parts of our Sceptred Isle may have a reputation for the wetter or cooler end of the spectrum,(how do you know it’s summer in Aberdeen? The rain is warmer.),and other parts draw the lucky straw such as surfer’s paradise Newquay, we as a whole get a really useful mix. And it’s a surprisingly predictable mix despite the machinations of the doomsayers and weathermen. Just keep a record for a few years and you’ll see I’m right!

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