Back to it

Life has a way of grounding me. Reminding me not to get ahead of myself. Just because something hasn’t happened before, doesn’t mean it can’t happen now. I’m talking hard frost in May. It caught me on the back foot. Such a cruel blow.

(Good grief – sudden flashbacks to Philosophy class where we discussed inductive versus deductive reasoning. Good old Hume pondering if the sun will rise again, just because it’s risen every previous day.)

I knew frost was coming, but I hadn’t realised it would reach us. I mean, it’s May. How bad could it be? Usually the local weather puts out a special warning to gardeners. Telling us to protect our plants. Did I miss it? Anyway, we don’t get hard frosts in May around here, so why would I worry?


Three veg beds totally destroyed. All my sweetcorn, beans and spaghetti squashes turned black overnight. Dead. Coldest nights in May for decades, they tell us. I daren’t count them, but it is well over 100 plants.

Admittedly, the odd one has survived. Waving their slightly tarnished, bright, green, fresh leaves over the devastated remains of their compatriots. The sunflower seedlings, in among the squashes, look like they are having a party. How did they survive?

To say I was gutted was an understatement.  I know it is minor compared to everything that’s going on in the world, but I’d raised all these from seed and my emotions were invested. I was already pondering recipes. {insert suitable expletive}

Deep breath.

I’m not one to give up. I did grouch for the best part of the morning, but by lunch time, I  had a plan. Fortunately, I have a handful of plants left in the greenhouse to fill a few meagre gaps. I still have seeds and there is time for them to grow. This would have been a show stopper if it was later in the season. It will set me back a few weeks, but that is better than nothing. I’ve also optimistically left the plants in place, just in case they have a change of heart and decide to grow back.

Also, when I look around the garden, I realise there is so much more growing. The figs are doing well and the raspberry cane are putting on good growth. The cabbages and leeks are ready to pick. I also received three blueberry bushes, this week, with berries starting to form. My greenhouses are untouched and thriving. Not everything has bitten the dust.

It will bounce back.

On a non gardening note, I’ve found my crafting mojo again. It’s been missing since the beginning of the lockdown. I picked up knitting needles, this week, for the first time and spent two evenings finishing off my cardigan. Also made a face mask, which a quick win.

I am an optimist. I will bring the veg beds back to life and I will finally finish my knitting. (Partly, as I have a cone of blue yarn waiting in the wings.) And I will listen more closely to the weather forecast.

Fortunately, it is the kind of disaster, (along with flooding half the house, this week – hang on, I didn’t mention that one…), that is always made better with the first rhubarb and custard pie of the year. Don’t you agree?


Word of the Week linky

22 thoughts on “Back to it

  • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear you lost so many plants in the frost! It was so strange and totally caught us all off guard I think. We definitely got too used to the warm sunshine. I’m glad you have some replacements and lots of other fruit and veg thriving! Hopefully you’re still able to make a lot of wonderful recipes this summer 🙂 #wotw

    • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 10:33 am

      I know once it’s all planted up and thriving again, I will feel better. Cross with myself more for missing how cold it was going to get.

  • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Oh no, your poor plants. I’m glad you can bring something positive out of it though. Your plant life will continue. And house flooding too! It’s not been a good week has it it. I hope you take some time for a relaxing weekend with no disasters #wotw

    • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 1:00 pm

      Another week and the flooding would have been my headline. Especially as it had an unusual twist to it. I have seeds in soil again. All will be well.

  • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Oh no! That is rotten about your veg being destroyed by the veg. The weather seems so messed up at the moment.
    It sounds like you still have lots growing and thriving.
    Good on you getting back to your crafting. The face mask looks fab! x

    • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      Yes, the weather is mixed up. Live and learn. I can see some are coming back to life, which feels good.

  • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    So sorry to read about your garden! The cold weather that was here last weekend must have made it across the Atlantic. I lost annuals and basil but I replanted yesterday. I hate the expense but I wanted the flowers and herbs. Glad to read you’ve gotten back to crafting.

    • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 3:32 pm

      I looked at replacing with plugs or plants. Not all are available, as everyone is doing the same. I’m sorry you lost plants too.

  • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Oh no, what a shame to lose so many plants with the frost – it really isn’t something to expect in May especially when we’d had such lovely weather. I’m glad that your other plants are still okay and fingers crossed you can fill the gaps in your veg bed and new plants will be growing there very soon. Love the fabric for your face mask and that rhubarb and custard pie looks delicious. #WotW

    • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      Really wasn’t expecting it. Even checked back through 10 years of blogging in May and no frosty photos in sight, let alone a heavy frost. Oh well, live and learn

  • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    Oh my goodness. I have just posted on my blog a very similar post. I cried too for my poor runnerbeans, and had to remind myself there are worse things going on the world. This is my first year of gardening vegetables, so I did think that I might have put them out too soon. So it is a bit reassuring to hear that this is unusual to have a frost so late in the year.

    • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 9:13 pm

      Oh goodness. That is lousy. I’m sorry it’s happened the first time you grew them. I hope it hasn’t put off. You still have time to re-sow and the plants may still grow back. The reward of homegrown food is worth the effort.

  • Friday 15 May, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    What a bummer losing those plants!! But at least some have survived, and as you say things are growing. Our garden is delightful right now, even if the clematis buds are dropping like wedding confetti. The pie looks yum! #WotW

    • Saturday 16 May, 2020 at 7:19 am

      I must go and check how my clematis is getting on. Not reached the flowering stage yet for sure 😆

  • Saturday 16 May, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    Ugh! I would have been heartbroken over the plants too! But on a positive note, your face mask is adorable!

    • Saturday 23 May, 2020 at 3:56 pm


  • Sunday 17 May, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    What an awful thing! And so many plants! I’m glad that you’ve got some cold hardy things there to be an encouragement. You can take comfort in your cabbages. 🙂

    • Saturday 23 May, 2020 at 3:57 pm

      We ate one of the cabbages this week. It was rather lovely!

  • Monday 18 May, 2020 at 8:54 am

    I’m so sorry about the frost destroying your veggies. It’s so sad – I have to tell you I’m in love with your cabbage. It’s one of my favorite veggies for sure. Hope you had a good week with warm weather and blue skies. #MMBC

    • Saturday 23 May, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      I find cabbages a good plant to grow, especially over the winter period.

  • Sunday 24 May, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Oh no! Sorry to hear about your veg plants, that is awful! I share your pain though. The strong winds here blew several panes of my greenhouse away and then proceeded to knock over a full row of staging with my newly planted seed trays on.
    What a foul mood I was in! x

    • Thursday 28 May, 2020 at 11:42 am

      That is awful. Seed trays are difficult to put back, without starting again. I do feel your pain.

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