The waiting game

April. The month when you spend more time than you like looking at your plants. Looking out the window. Looking at the weather forecast.

And trying not to trip over plants which are on every surface.

It’s worse inside the potting shed.

Worse? Or should I say amazing?


The poor cat is definitely shoved to the margins.

I’m just relieved she hasn’t taken it to her (rather small) brain to leap up onto the middle trestle table that is groaning with crops.

She is learning. And I must admit she is getting more than her normal fair of cat food so I can be left alone to water and rearrange and generally fuss.

I might even, in normal times, even consider doing more hardening off. Which in my case means opening all the windows and doors of the mighty potting shed and getting a good stiff breeze in.

But we have had unseasonably cold weather this week. So cold in fact that the agricultural business around here were in a lather about the hard frost.

Can you see the plume of smog coming our way? That was from all the fires lit in the orchards and the vineyards in an attempt to prevent the hard, hard frost from destroying the fruit.

We heard helicopters overhead in the night – using their rotor blades to try and disturb the cold air over the precious apricots and peaches in the valley.

To no avail, alas.

Burgundy vines have been set alight to fight against frost.
Etienne Ramousse

It looks like 80 per cent of the crops have been lost. And the winemakers on the Rhone valley are saying it’s going to be the worst since 2003.

For the weather nerds among you, the last late damaging super frosts were 1991, 1997 and 2003.

I don’t know what damage we have here. Lost cherries? Lost apples? All will be revealed. Or not revealed. In a few weeks time.

Meanwhile we just get on with the usual concerns of praying for rain and getting every barrel and water butt ready in case it does.