Wednesday, 29 July 2009

What barbecue?

They told us to get the barbecues ready and prepare for a scorching summer. So far, no barby!

Experts predicted temperatures would top 86F (30C) while rainfall was likely to be “near or below average”.

But the latest Met Office figures released yesterday show that July has been a washout – with almost a month’s rain in the first two weeks alone.

The only glimmer of comfort was the fact that temperatures across the country have still been higher than an average summer. The average UK rainfall for the first fortnight was 56.6mm (2.2in) – about 81 per cent of the normal July level.

But while most of us probably feel like we have experienced the worst summer for years, the rainfall figures were much lower than in the past two years.

However, this is still not Canna growing weather, and the Claines collection currently stands forlornly with every single plant having some good and some bad foliage. Leaves that unfolded when there was sunshine are mostly alright, but those on the same plant that unfurled during days with cloud and poor light reflect that fact. This is light stress, which looks like CYMV virus. The mosaic virus types is always the cause of this pattern in the leaf, in my opinion, as lack of light does not create a mosaic pattern in any any plants that I have experienced.

The worst sufferers are the wild species, grown from seed this year and all a vibrant green when planted outdoors in late May. They are now, almost without exception, looking yellow coloured with holes and tattered edges where the weather has meant little photosynthesis has taken place and the extreme rain has washed away the powder that protects the leaf against normal volumes of rain.

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