This autumn and winter the weather was generally mild and dry until just before Christmas. In the Autumn we have the routine of cutting and cleaning which has gratifying results. The scrub around many trees has gone, replaced by meticulous bark circles, courtesy of Lynda and Dick. Clearance in the Jungle, its extended pathway and many areas formerly overrun with brambles has been carried out mainly by Terry and Sue.

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There were two Open Days planned for this month.  The first was organised by the Friends of the Harris Garden on April 15th to raised money for charity, the weather was fine though a little chilly and numbers were down on previous years attendances.  The second was due for Sunday 29th and was organised by the University but unfortunately the weather in the week leading up to the day was very wet and then the weather on the day was absolutely atrocious forcing the event to be cancelled which was disappointing but unavoidable.  Maybe it can be rescheduled for later in the year.

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March has seen a continuation of the exceptionally dry weather conditions throughout the month and has meant that there is the very real threat of water shortages across the south of England and the promise of hosepipe bans and drought orders.  Though not effective yet they are due to come into force in April for domestic use but we should still be able to use hosepipes for watering in the Harris Garden.

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The New Year has started with the weather conditions continuing in much the same vein as they have over the past few months with mild above average temperatures and mainly dry days.  This has enabled us to continue the winter work uninterrupted by breaks for bad weather but the plants are starting to show fattening buds as they prepare for an early spring.

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The weather has continued to be mild throughout the month with the only cold weather coming in a short spell mid-month when we had a couple of fairly light ground frosts.

The weather forecasters predicted a wet day for the first volunteer Thursday of the month so we arranged to have a morning in the potting shed potting up the bare-rooted plants that had been delivered and to prick out seedling that we had grown ourselves. The day dawned clear and bright with no sign of the rain that had been forecast so we enjoyed the warmth of the potting shed while the sun shone outside.

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After four wet Thursdays in a row during August leaving the volunteers wet, muddy and wondering what happened to the predicted ‘barbeque summer’ September arrived bringing the glorious sunny days we had hoped for in August.  It was as though someone had turned a tap off with the change of month and September turned out to be the warmest on record with day after day of clear skies and hot sun.

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