Fordyce Maxwell: Regardless of our personal view on global warming, a wet summer is depressing
I CAN’T believe it either – today is the first of July and the number of decent days during April, May and June were as rare as supportive votes for Rangers.
In the great scheme of things it should not matter much that the sandpit and paddling pool have been almost unused. Or that the tent/beach shelter I put together on the back green for the grandchildren at some personal risk – those fibreglass hoop things are whippy and tricky – blew inside-out.
As did the half-dozen new solid plastic cloches I’d invested in this year. In spite of being well pegged down, a recent gale took them into the hedge except the one that sliced into the biggest courgette plant.
We’ve only used the barbecue twice. Admittedly, that is twice is often as I would use it in the best of summers given a choice, but other family members like the idea and believe I can be converted. Not in a summer like this I can’t.
As already noted, in the great scheme of things – 4.5 billion years of earth so far, another 4 billion before galaxies collide and wipe out whatever life form is then extant, it’s being so cheerful that keeps astronomers going – none of the above should matter much.
But regardless of our personal view on global warming and climate change, a wet summer is depressing. It’s more depressing for some, such as cricketers, tennis players, farmers trying to convert wet grass into silage and hay between downpours, ice-cream sellers, and companies that make only-Britons-on-holiday short shiny shorts and silly vests. But it gets to us all eventually.
Especially the millions of us who rank gardening as a hobby. Remember the advice of Ozymandias, “king of kings” in Shelley’s poem, to “Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair”?
Looking at my runner beans, peas and asparagus bed last week I knew how Ozy felt. Liz was consoling. As I forlornly tied struggling beans in hope to stakes last week, she said: “If you really want to cry, go and look at the strawberries. I think something’s eating them.”
Slugs, of course. This has been a bonanza summer for the little beggars and they’re making the most of it, but, in karma-mode, calmness personified and with goodwill to all living things, I take a little slug damage here and there in my stride. On a grey, clammy day, rain on the way again, surveying battered foxgloves and roses, delphiniums beaten down in their prime, a pathetic asparagus bed, and suspicious black spots on the potatoes, I ran for the slug pellets. And found the container empty. «
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West