Tuesday, 8 July 2008

English summer washout

The English summer is heading for a total washout, with little chance of any long periods of sunshine. This follows bad weather at Wimbledon last week.

Most of the country will be drenched by thundery showers all this week – and forecasters predict that could set the pattern for the rest of the month and beyond.

The miserable outlook even led one forecaster to warn that this summer could be among the wettest on record.

Jonathan Powell, of Positive Weather Solutions, is quoted as saying there was an “unsettled picture” for July and August. “Whereas we may have a few days of fine weather, there will be no lengthy spells of sunshine or sustained warm temperatures,” he said. “That is because, once again, Atlantic weather systems will continue to deliver wet, windy conditions and average temperatures.”

Dave Elliott at the Met Office agreed. “Rainfall is looking above average or similar to average for the rest of the summer, with the temperatures nearly average or a touch below,” he said. “Last year was a pretty bad summer as well – a lovely April and September but fairly unsettled in between.

“This year we’ve not had a prolonged warm, dry spell. We’ve had several nice days but not a couple of weeks at a time. You have to go back to 2006 for a glorious summer, hot, dry and sunny.”

So, what does that mean to Canna gardeners. I would suggest that you keep a reasonable spacing between your plants. I have always liked the jungle effect achieved when the foliage intertwines, but this year we should not risk any plant not getting whatever sunlight is available. My youngest daughter used to describe the intertwining as the plants kissing, and I feel bad about having to increase the spacing.

A regular feeding with Miracle-Gro will ensure that whenever light is available the Canna engine can fire on all cylinders and produce as much growth as is practical during a poor-light summer. Really, it is a case of not wasting any days of reasonable light, it takes light, water and nutrients to produce plant growth and so when light is available it pays to ensure that the other essentials are there in abundance.

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