Thursday, 26 October 2006

Warm weather brings garden woes

Northern Ireland is having its warmest extended summer since 1914.

BBC meterologist John Hammond said in Belfast the average night temperature had been 9.9 degrees centigrade, about three degrees above average.
"We had a record breaking July across Northern Ireland and a record breaking September as well as it being warm from May right until now," he said.

Horticulturalist Reg Maxwell said the extended season was causing problems other than more lawn cutting. "It's making trees, the large trees, keep their leaves on, and of course they're still active, pulling water out of the ground when there is no water going into it," said Mr Maxwell who regularly appears on Radio Ulster's Gardener's Corner.

"We have had such a dry summer that the subsoil is very, very dry so these trees are under stress - you could see damage to trees in later years it doesn't show immediately."
He said that normally gardeners would be getting into preparing for the next season and collecting garden leaves instead of still enjoying summer blooms.

After standing at the bus stop with the wind whipping round my nether regions and the rain pelting down I must admit that I find this extremely difficult to envisage.