Having only just cleared the last of the damage to our trees caused by the gale we suffered here on Christmas Eve, we watch with horror the devastation being caused further South. Although we lost three tree and had major branch damage we seem to have got off lightly so far. We have seen no snow here on the coast this year to date, and only a couple of slight frosts. Whilst we spent a couple of days last week working in the garden in T shirts my friend involved in mountain rescue in Fort William was telling me he spent the night on a ridge in a 100mph blizzard in epic amounts of snow. When a mountain man with over 40 years experience tells me it was as bad as he had ever seen, I know it must have been an extraordinary weather event.
Another friend in Austria who lives at some 5000ft tells me that there is no snow in the village and there has been none since the beginning of the year. He was completely incredulous that not only were they without snow, but that he had seen several bees flying around looking for water and food. Twenty years ago we were ski ing from the same village to the ski lift at the end of March on snow a metre deep.
With floods of Biblical proportions in the South, it seems ironic that the 2012 Climate Risk Assessment Report stated that in the next 60 years half of our population could be living in areas with water shortages.
Having spent most of my life in the Highlands of Scotland I am fairly sure that this little patch of our beautiful Country will not fall into this category, so we are continuing our garden expansion by using more polytunnels and erecting more raised beds to minimise the effects of extremely wet weather. No doubt the Bog Garden will also become a more prominent feature in the coming years!