I’m sure it will come as no surprise to anyone, that there hasn’t been a lot of gardening getting done in these last few days.

Before all this silly snow stuff started, there still wasn’t much getting done, but at least I was managing to potter about, and one of the things giving me cause for concern were my geraniums.

I wrote a while ago (amongst other things) that they were flowering their socks off, and indeed they were, but I also noticed that their leaves were looking less than healthy.

At first I thought it might be the cold weather. The conservatory door doesn’t shut properly and I thought maybe the night time frosts were getting in. I’ve asked Peter to fix it for me, but so far no joy. I had a little go myself, but only managed to make a slight improvement.

Anyway, on closer inspection I noticed the leaves had brown spots on their undersides. A quick look in my gardening books confirmed I had geranium rust, which it said would weaken, and in the end could kill, the plants. Fortunately it should not turn it’s attention to my fuchsias which are also in there. Apparently it only likes zonal pelargoniums.

I began to remove the flowers and infected leaves. I reasoned that the plant was wasting energy producing flowers and needed all it’s energy to fight the disease. I also decided to feed them vigourously, a sort of belt and braces approach.

The idea was I would tend them daily in this way until such time as I was at a garden centre to buy a fungicide.

The best laid plans of mice and men as we know are often dumped on by unforseen circumstances, in this case they were dumped on by 18″ of snow.

I haven’t been in the conservatory for about 2 weeks, but I can see the plants through the window. Today they were looking particularly sorry for themselves. I don’t know if it’s the extreme cold, the rust, or the fact that they probably need a drink.

Although it’s been cold, the days have been very sunny so I imagine the plants will have warmed up to some degree under the glass and still been drinking. So today I waded through the snow which had drifted against the conservatory door and gave it a firm shove.

It opened quite easily, but unfortunately the weather board came off in the process as it was, and still is, firmly frozen into the snow. So now the door really does need mending!

I gave them all a drink. Everything, even the fuchsias look awful. I just hope that at least some of them will survive. It could be a blessing in disguise if the extreme cold has killed the rust spores.

Every cloud eh?!