Barlow Nurseries

Growers of trees, shrubs and hardy herbaceous perennial garden plants near Newport, Shropshire



Welcome to the dustbowl….

It hasn’t rained here for ages.  Really ages.   In fact, we can’t remember the last time we had a period of significant rain – it was probably about a year ago.     Then we had a really cold winter – lots of snow, but not much water in that, then an absurdly warm and dry spring, and then a reasonably okay sort of summer, warmish, calm, and dry.

Watching the weather forecasts this year has been like one of those crazy dreams where you can never quite reach the stuff you need (everyone has those, don’t they?).   There has been lots of rain around, but as soon as it approaches Shropshire on the forecast maps it just seems to evaporate, and the clouds go everywhere but here.

The garden is completely knackered – we don’t water the ornamental garden at all, trying to work with plants that will cope with our always-less-than-moist soil, but even they’ve been defeated by this years conditions.   Our veg plots have only survived because we’ve spent hours (many hours) hand watering.

We could illustrate this with a photo of our parched garden plants, but frankly that’d just be embarrassing.   So we were pleased to have a different photo opportunity this afternoon, when one of our neighbouring farmers decided to harrow his field.   Normally this is an entirely unremarkable event, but today, rather than calmly breaking down the soil and leaving it ready for sowing, the process seemed to have been extended to include sharing a good proportion of the field with the neighbourhood – as we, and anybody else trying to breathe nearby, were consumed in clouds of dust-dry earth.   If it had been windier, the ploughman could have extended his largesse to the neighbouring county.

Dusty

Dusty

Dustier

Dustier

Theres a tractor in there somewhere...

There's a tractor in there somewhere...

The garden is knackered, but we’ve been irrigating the nursery – it’s seemed at times as if that’s all we’ve done this season – and there are still huge swathes of late season colour to enjoy. Maybe that’ll be tomorrows photo opportunity.

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