Hot Days in a Suffolk Backyard

Well, the British are known for their conversations about the weather so naturally this past week of record-breaking temperatures requires a comment – it was hot.

Not pleasantly, summer hols hot, but horrible hot. Here in Suffolk there was even a wildfire as grassland together with a field of wheat went up in flames not two miles from where I used to live in Tunstall.

According to the Fire & Rescue Service a wildfire is β€œAny uncontrolled vegetation fire which requires a decision, or action, regarding suppression” and this particular Suffolk wildfire required active suppression. The fire-fighting was captured for the East Anglian Daily Times by my next-door neighbour. She is a staff photographer on the local newspaper and just happened to be driving along the A12 (the main road up the eastern side of the county) when she spotted dark smoke filling the skyline. Diverting across country to Campsea Ashe she arrived at the scene as the first fire crew began tackling the blaze. You can see her amazing and frightening photographs here.

The seasonal bedding plants like direct sun, but potted up even they need watering twice a day in the recent high temperatures.

With 40 degrees Celsius being recorded for the first time in the UK more and more people are finally realising what we are facing with the Climate Crisis. If nothing else, this week’s heatwave has shown the UK’s housing stock to be poorly insulated. Good insulation not only means keeping homes warm in the winter, but it helps to keep indoor temperatures liveable in the high heat of summer. Unlike homes in tropical or even Mediterranean countries our housing is not built with the heat in mind and a solution of widely installing air conditioning is neither affordable nor environmentally sound. It’s time for some political leadership to get a national insulation scheme up and running – whoops, I forgot, we don’t have a leader. And, with the tragedy of short-termism in our political system, I can’t see either of the current candidates for Prime Minister making housing insulation a priority. In fact, despairingly, I can’t see either of them moving the green agenda forwards.

But what of my ‘concrete scarred’ backyard in the heat. The summer bedding is doing okay.

Pelargoniums enjoying the full sun.

Of course, with most of my plants in pots due to the concrete issue, there’s lots of regular watering to do.

The concrete issue – and there are layers too!

However, even with watering and positioned in partial shade, some flowers have gone over very quickly so I cut them for the house.

Lilies, rose ‘Breath of Life’ and a few sweet peas.
Orange canna and peach rose for colour inspiration.

This year is the first year that the climbing rose ‘Breath of Life’, on a south-facing fence, has flowered. However, before the blooms were scorched to crispy, dried flowers I cut them and took them indoors. I love both their scent and their colour.

Finally, there are some plants that have been lapping up the hot sun in the displays at the local park such as these tropical cannas. I have singled out a gorgeous orange canna and together with the peachy orange rose found some ‘hot’ inspiration for my work.

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

13 thoughts on “Hot Days in a Suffolk Backyard”

  1. SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT THE HEAT OVER THERE, IT IS ABOUT 90F HERE IN VIRGINIA USA, TODAY. I LOVE ALL OF YOUR FLOWERS, BUT THE PELARGONIUMS ARE JUST STUNNING!! SO SAD ABOUT THE FIELD FIRE, HOPING THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PUT IT OUT! BTW, YOU LAST PICTURE LEADS ME TO BELIEVE YOU ARE A SILK PAINTER?? WOULD I BE CORRECT?? πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for your concern and yes the wildfire along with many others in the region are all extinguished now. Yes you are correct, I am a textile artist and sell my painted scarves on the Internet through my online boutique and, in person, at the odd craft fair in the run up to Christmas. However, I’ve not done one of the those since Covid came to town! Might return to real life shows in 2023, but will see how the pandemic goes.

  2. WELL, AFTER I HIT SEND I WENT TO THE READER, THEN JUMPED OVER TO YOUR SITE & GOT MY ANSWER YOU ARE A SILK PAINTER!! I HAVE THE DYES TO DO SILK PAINTING, JUST HAVE NOT GOTTEN THERE YET 😦

    1. Are, I have done the same with the comments. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Oh do get them out and have a go. It is, as usual, all about practice. Everyone develops their own style and that comes with working with the materials and seeing what works for you. Years ago when I taught beginners we used to use handkerchief sized silk squares as starting on a large 36 inch square is rather daunting! All the best with your endeavours.

  3. Your indoor flower arrangements are always a delight to behold and today’s is no exception, so delicate. Well done for keeping all those pot plants going.

    1. Thanks – watering is worth the effort. I find early morning the best before the temperature starts to rise. All this heat is a bit of a trial at the moment isn’t it?

  4. You always find a way of capitalising on problems – in this case the flowers ‘going over’ in your garden becoming instead a house centrepiece. Brilliant.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: