The Joys of Summer (?!?!)

Despite the fact that it’s mid-summer here, the mountain weather can be very changeable and after having had a very warm October and November, the last few weeks have seen the temperature return to more normal conditions.

That means nights about 12°C/53°F & days about 22°C/71°F, as well as misty, showery days that struggle to get above even 10-12°C thrown in for good measure.

I think that this has confused some of the plants. For instance, I had planted small Helleborus divisions around the garden last Autumn.

Now, in the middle of summer, is the first time one of them has flowered, and it has been blooming for over two weeks (click for larger images):

Given how many more buds are waiting to open, I guess I won’t see too many blooms from this plant come winter time, but it is nice to see a Helleborus in flower with such fresh, green leaves!

In the shaded areas of the garden, things can be really slow to take off. I put these little impatiens seedlings in around late October, and still, almost nothing. Here they are with the Fuchsias in late November, showing a few flowers, but almost no growth (click for larger images):

I’m amazed that they have remained this tiny without the slugs and snails finishing them off. Here they are in January:

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Impatient these Impatiens are not…..

As well as winter flowers,I also have the first few autumn leaves:

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First Japanese Maple leaves

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Dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’) starting to wear autumn colours

But as well enjoying a respite from hot days, there are some benefits!

The Chilliwack Raspberries have ripened early (I’ve already picked and eaten quite a few), but its leaves too, have started to put on an autumn show!

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Bountiful Autumn Harvest….!?!

It goes to show that you don’t need frost for half-decent autumn colour. The coolest night we have had these past few weeks is 6°C/43°F (with most above 10°C/50°F).

I always find it fascinating to see which plants rely mostly on temperature changes, rather than both light and temperature, as their on/off switch…the weather will of course warm soon, so any effects are quite temporary.

Happy Gardening 🙂

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23 thoughts on “The Joys of Summer (?!?!)

    • Thanks! Often when there are strong winds killing plants in the garden (either from desiccating the leaves or drying out the soil) the best advice I can give is to plant a windbreak – conifer hedges, or similarly tough plants, can be sufficient to protect a large area of the garden on the leeward side. If even that wont grow, then you could invest in tall, woven hazel or bamboo screens. These can often be thick enough to stop some of the worst of the wind and give tender plants a bit more of a chance. Good luck 🙂

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  1. you are starting fall now-crazy- How interesting that our seasons are opposite. We are in the midst of winter, snow and cold + nothing green in site. Thank you for the tour through your lovely place.
    When I stop by and see other gardens around the world all green and beautiful, I can hardly believe mine will ever grow again when all I see is white-lol–Happy Gardening!

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    • I think this is just temporary interruption to normal programming 🙂 At least I hope so, I’d hate for fall to start now and all of the colour get ruined by warm summer days! Thankfully I only get light snow here and it’s usually gone within a day or two….that, for me, is plenty! Stay warm 🙂

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      • from what I have read you can grow year round:-) If we moved a bit more south, I believe I could grow year round but our life is here and so “snow” is part of the picture….I use to live further north when I was kid and loved all those high stacks of snow, sledding, ice skating etc..but now as I am older it gets in my way more than I like-lol-but I do love a White Christmas:-)

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  2. I have a lot of confused plants on my side of the world too, although in our case, what is normally our cool season has been interrupted with some unseasonably warm days (86F/30C last Tuesday, dropping back into the 60sF this weekend). Unfortunately, our warm season never seems to be disrupted by unseasonably cool days as your has been. Our warm spells, as long as they’re brief, don’t do much damage but last year’s severe week-long heatwaves in early spring (May) were a different matter altogether.

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    • We had a spring heatwave as well, with the all time record of 34C/93F being set in November (our equivalent of May), so all of the plants are about a month early this year. I think the return to normal weather has them thinking that they’ve had their three months of summer, so it’s time for autumn! Hopefully the El Nino will bring you guys a bit more rain this year 🙂

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    • Yes, they have been incredibly slow to take off, I know the soil and the general conditions are fine as the fuchsias next to them have romped along…just imagine a gardener who can’t get impatiens to grow….oh, the shame! 🙂

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  3. Matt it is kind of weird as the temperatures you mention are similar to the island in summer though less difference between night and day, I hope the autumn trend doesn’t continue and summer returns, it seems much too early for you to be having autumn, Frances

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    • We have a very UK-ish climate (but with a very hot sun), I certainly hope autumn stays away for another two-three months as the colours will be wrecked if it is too early

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    • I know, the weather is all over the place this year….but thankfully we are back to summer again – outside at 4pm it’s sunny and 22C, just glorious! The days should stay that way until Sunday when the forecast top is just 12C 😦

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