Wednesday, 20 April 2022

"April is the Cruellest Month"

 Maybe not every year, but certainly this year April has flung everything at us - frost, high winds, drought and now rain.

Mind you, after the drought the last one is very welcome.  But the first three have been cruel to gardens and the farms and vineyards around.

Up in the Gironde at the beginning of the month they were burning fires through the night to try and save this year's grapes. The photos are beautiful - until one sees the stress in the faces of the vignerons.

For the first time in the fourteen springs we have been here our wisteria has been badly scorched - its pendulous flowers were beautifully in bud one day and the next, they had become thin brown tassels.

Roses just coming into new growth, their plump young stems and baby leaves a ruby red, are now curled over and brown.

Some trees and shrubs have sailed through all this and are virtually in full leaf.  Others are still bare stemmed, early buds burnt to a crisp.  There is sometimes a faint glimmer of new growth.

After soaking with the big water canons last week, Monsieur F's dormant corn has suddenly burst into life - rows of two-inch green shoots now above the baked earth.  The seedlings are lapping up last night's steady rain. Our water butts are full and there is some hope the underground tank may see us through summer this year after all.  

Fingers crossed that the bushes which are still bare and the damaged roses finally recover.  


  1. Nature has a way of making itself felt and generally we have to put up with what we are given. The 'anti frost fires' are spectacular. Lesley

    1. Hello Lesley - you are so right. Hopefully most of the plants that have suffered badly will survive. And that we will have a grape harvest this year!