It’s very cold …

I was sceptical, I thought it was all hype … but no, it really has turned very, very cold. Here in coastal Brighton, the temperatures are below freezing. It’s certainly the coldest it’s been this winter. I was out in the station garden late afternoon to talk to Bryn from Brighton Permaculture about fruit trees. The sky was brilliant blue and the sun was shining, but when I came in, I couldn’t feel my fingers.

I first checked on the fuchsias in the shady garden. They look tired, but alive. In fact, though the garden was clearly a little put out, it looked more resigned to being cold than seriously deflated. The gated plot was more exposured to the biting, icy breeze. The moisture between the wood chip had frozen into white chinks of frost. I nudged the water butt and nothing moved.

The fleece I had replaced last week had blown down, exposing some of our leafy winter crops. They were looking flattened: drooping cavalo nero and chard, lettuce on a bad hair day. I’m just hoping the beautiful variegated sorrel Mary planted last week will survive.

Frisee lettuces in my garden survived last year’s snow under a rudimentary plastic cover, coming back strongly in the spring so I’m confident the chard and the cavalo nero will perk up again once it gets warmer. I’m pleased I picked two bunches of diverse leaves last week. They made a great addition to a winter soup. Which is what I need now, as I sit here still in my coat, hat and scarf.

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