This and that

Today it was actually quite mild and sunny – at times anyway and I spent most of the day in the garden , still ‘redding up’ (tidying up) weeding and cutting back the dead bits. In fact after the brutal cold weather and snow we had a fortnight ago there are now quite a few fatalities. My rosemary bushes had gone all through the winter fairly happily, but the Easter weather was just too much for them and they’ve had to be chopped right back, I hope they re-grow. It was only today that I realised that my lovely ceanothus (Californian lilac) now has brown leaves instead of the lovely glossy dark green leaves it has had all through the winter. More chopping back required, I find it painful. A few roses have succumbed to the cold weather, but I’m hopeful that they might survive – eventually. Strangely the lavender bushes are all very happy looking, so much for them being tender Mediterranean plants, but my Alpine edelweiss plant looks like it has had it. I’ll leave it in though just in case there’s life in the roots yet.

Over the weekend we were up north in Inverness on a football related jaunt. Friday was freezing and grey, a disappointment as the weather forecast said it would be nice up there. But the sun arrived on Saturday – and there was warmth with it, amazing! When I say warmth it was probably just in double figures celsius, but not long ago it was -5 so I was happy. Can you believe I actually had to put the car window down? Inverness was heaving with people, there were so many tourists, and it being a Friday night we couldn’t get into any of the restaurants that we tried as we hadn’t booked. There was one restaurant that had only four people in it, not a good sign considering how jam packed everywhere else was, but we had no alternative so we gave it a go. It was a Mediterranean eatery (allegedly). It was expensive and it was possibly the worst meal I’ve ever had in a restaurant – AND I came out feeling hungrier than I had been when I went in! Why oh why didn’t I check out the Tripadvisor reviews first?!

The book pile has grown by seven books, I bought some in the Pitlochry bookshops on the way up to Inverness. Then some more in a Dingwall bookshop. Dingwall actually has two secondhand bookshops, amazing. I think maybe the long dark winters in the Scottish Highlands lead to a lot of people picking up books to take themselves to pastures new, for a wee while anyway.

One of the books that I bought was by Rose Tremain. I’ve never read anything by her, but I enjoyed reading this Guardian article last week. Have you read any of her books?

I didn’t take any photos of Inverness itself, but you can see some images here.

4 thoughts on “This and that

  1. Still not able to get out into the garden here so I envy you! Just as all our snow was almost gone, we had a blizzard over the weekend and record-setting snowfall. This has been the snowiest April on record here. Endurance is taking on whole new meanings! Glad you had a nice time in Inverness in spite of dinner being disappointing.

    • Stefanie,
      This has been the longest winter I remember, with the first snowfall in October and the last (worst) being at Easter, although we don’t have the amounts of snow that you have, we’re just not used to it. To make matters worse we didn’t have a summer at all last year!

  2. It’s always cheering to see the sun, makes the day seem so much warmer than a cloudy day of the same temperature.
    What were your minimum temperatures at Easter?
    All the plants you mention will grow here happily; hopefully it was just new growth that was skittled, and the plants will re-sprout.
    A couple of winters ago we had a -6deg. C air temperature and my little lemon tree was severely affected, but has re-grown after I applied a liquid “Plant Starter & Root Booster” which I’ve found really helpful to stressed plants.

    Disappointing about the Mediterranean restaurant!

    Still, you got books…

    • Valerie,
      I’ve been applying liquid feed over the weekend so hopefully that’ll perk the plants up. Just about all of the plants had been fine until Easter and then we had hard frosts, supposedly to -5deg.C but I’m sure the air frost was worse as it’s the tops of plants that have been damaged. Very annoying as they were all beginning to fill out and grow tall, I can’t wait until all the fences are hidden by plants.

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