Normal Weather Service Resumes …

Japanese anemones against a grey sky

As I pulled on my waterproof trousers, wellies, rain jacket, gloves and cap yesterday morning – after a week in which the only sartorial decision I needed to make was which POP t-shirt to wear – I did send up faint curses on the heads of everyone who’s been loudly longing for rain over the past week. Glasgow cyclists, bless their little Stockholm-syndromed heads, may welcome summer for its slightly warmer rain, but I love a heatwave and the drier and sunnier the better. However much my garden may be suffering, I’ll never pray for rain – after all, round here, the Weather Gods will generally provide it, in great quantities, entirely unprompted.

All that said, one inhabitant of the garden is probably welcoming the resumption of wet weather. Five years ago we planted six trees (three silver birches and three paper birches) to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Of the paper birches, one didn’t take at all, one seemed to disappear but finally stuck its head over the top of the tree tube after about 4 years) and one was apparently flourishing like the green bay tree until it decided to fall over a couple of days ago.

It turns out that it had been flourishing so much its trunk had thickened enough to grow into the zip tie that was holding the tree tube onto the stake. That had weakened it to the point where it just snapped. We’d kept the tubes on so long to protect them all against the attentions of Moo I 5, but we hadn’t been diligent at checking for other perils, and for that I can only say I’m very sorry.

Propped up birch tree

Anyway, after consulting Twitter, the tree has been duly propped up, lopped by about half, and held in place with (what else) a bicycle inner tube. The guards have come off most of the other trees (except the late developer, which is just too close to the fence and too temptingly in reach of any coos). So far, the patient appears to be fine so fingers crossed it will remain so, and strengthen to the point where it can stand up on its own. And yes, perhaps a little rain at this point wouldn’t go amiss … although I’m not, repeat not, asking for it.


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