‘Oh no!’ you say
‘Not another snow post.
We have so had it with snow!’
Too right. Both the snow,
the consequences of snow, the talk of snow,
and particularly the everlasting pics of snow which have snowed all over twitter and facebook.
Someone else’s snow pics never mean that much to us anyway do they?
But this pic should:
It was taken in Lesley’s garden and was taken to prove a point.
A few days after the recent bout of snow Lesley and I had talked on the phone and I said there was no snow in the city studio, close to the river in the city centre.
Lesley lives in Churchill, 15 miles outside Bristol.
Ok you will say the snow, a bit like rain, has to stop somewhere. And city centres are warm everyone knows that.
But there was a coda to the interchange.
Because she said ‘Of course, there is no snow in the village. We are above the snow line here.’
Now we did chuckle at that . Because I am forever teasing Lesley about her hill-top eyrie, looking down on the village, semaphoring to her gardener at the bottom of the hill and ruling the village with a rod of iron.
Of course none of it is true, except the semaphoring to her gardener.
There are gains from elevation. If views are paramount for you, the penthouse suite is win, win and win. When we have meetings at Lesley’s I have to face away from the window – otherwise I miss half the meeting! And Lesley is like ‘Robert, concentrate!’
If summer heat is your enemy, on the hills you are also onto a winner. Think the hill stations like Simla in the British Raj. Bristol is not exactly Delhi, but I too know that when it is hot here in the inner city a quick 5 min drive 600 feet to the top of the Avon Gorge brings an instant, valuable few degrees drop in temperature.
But of course if there is cool, so cool, there is also cool so cold ) – brass monkeys in fact. Brrrrhhhh!
Elevation means cold, extra frost, ice and snow in winter.
And wind of course too.
I nicknamed Lesley’s house ‘Windy Corner’ after the house in ‘A Room with a View’. Must stop teasing Lesley before she slaps me!
However, all is no proverbial bed of roses down on river level. I mean there is the river itself. Does it flood? There are very good flood prevention methods in place here. We checked that out before we bought the property.
You can also find yourself in a frost pocket. Frost needs to be able to drain away from an area. More rain drops one side of a hilly ridge than the other and so on.
All this matters from the point of view of the house you buy, but it is vital from the point of view of the garden. And especially if you are at all specific in the type of garden you want to achieve rather than prepared to go with the flow. A cold garden grows different plants , can have more failures, can be harder to work.
In the course of our business we meet many clients who have not realised that the garden belonging to the house they bought and will want to sit out in in the summer, is in total shade and the garden that they supposed they would enjoy pottering in has irredeemably heavy clay soil.
You may not be able to choose between colder north and warmer south work wise, but even locally, good solid microclimate research pays dividends.
I have certainly never bought a house without working out exactly the aspect of the garden and key rooms, the passage of light and shade from neighbouring trees and buildings, elevation, flooding, rain shadows and soils.
Goody two shoes, moi!
Category: Garden Planning