View from the Rear Window - June 2023

 "In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes, and every sunset is different" - John Steinbeck

"It was June and the world smelled of roses" - Maud Hart Lovelace

June was definitely on the warm side and the roses were glorious (Photo 1, front right). Indeed, the UK Met Office provisionally reported June 2023 as the warmest on record since 1884 - the start of reliable UK-wide temperature data. My recollection of June's weather was hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms in the middle of the month bookended with somewhat cooler fresher conditions at the start and end.

I have included just a couple of the daily photographs I take of the rear garden - one at the start and one at the end of the month. In early June, the roses were abundant and sweet-smelling (Photo 1) which was fortunate as Mary is collecting and drying the petals to use as confetti at a family wedding in September.

Photo 1: Rear Garden View (June 6th)

At the end of the month (Photo 2), the roses had finished their first flush and the buddleia bush (near the green shed) was in bloom producing nectar-rich flowers for the butterflies. Green is the dominant colour but there are alternatives when you look for them (see later).

Photo 2: Rear Garden View (June 30th)

A slideshow of the daily garden photographs for June is shown in Video 1.

Video 1: Daily Garden Photographs for June 2023

Summary of Weather Parameters for June 2023

Cooling and Heating Degree Days have been added to the list. Sunshine hours are estimated from average daily solar radiation values measured by the Davis weather station. A list of average and total weather parameters is given in Table 1.

Average values are not always good indicators and can hide a lot of detail and nuance. However, this is not the case for the summary statistics reported for June 2023 in Table 1. As noted already, this year had the hottest June on record according to the UK Met Office. I can only look back on the last four years of weather data from my weather station. Nevertheless, many of the values listed in Table 1 show the most extreme values when compared with the earlier years: (i) highest Mean/Average Daily Temperature, (ii) highest Minimum Daily Temperature, (iii) highest Number of Hot Days in the Month.

To these record breakers, I could also add for June 2023: (i) the Monthly Average of Daily Maximum Temperatures higher by 2 - 3 ℃, (ii) the Monthly Average of Daily Minimum Temperatures higher by 2 - 3 ℃, (iii) the lowest number of Heating Degree Days, and (iv) the highest number of Cooling Degree Days. Hence, it came as no surprise when 2023 was (provisionally) accorded the hottest June in the modern metrological record.

Table 1: Average/Total Weather Statistics for June 2023

June 2023

Weather Parameter



Average Monthly Temperature 

18 oC

Maximum Monthly Temperature

30 oC

10th, 13th, 16th & 24th

Minimum Monthly Temperature

8 oC


Number of Air Frost Days


Number of Hot Days (> 25 oC)


Monthly Precipitation

31.8 mm

Greatest 24 h Precipitation

12.2 mm

11th - 12th

Number of Dry Days


Monthly Sunshine Hours (estimated)


Average Wind Speed

3 km/h

Highest Wind Speed

31 km/h


Maximum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1027.6 hPa


Minimum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1004.7 hPa


Average Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1017.6 hPa

Heating Degree Days


Cooling Degree Days


In Figure 1, the daily minimum and maximum temperatures for June 2023 are displayed. I noted earlier that my recollection of June 2023 was of a hot middle bookended by cooler periods. This is discernible in the profile below but is perhaps less exaggerated than I recall. I suspect the hot conditions in the middle of June made the beginning and end of the month 'feel' relatively cool. 

Figure 1: Daily Min/Max Temperatures (June 2023)

The daily rainfall and sunshine (using solar radiation as a proxy) profiles for June 2023 are shown in Figure 2. The hot sunny weather lead to thunderstorms and a couple of intense rainfall days on the 12th and 20th June. A 27-day drought was broken when it rained on the 11th June.  

Figure 2: Rainfall and Sunshine Data (June 2023)

In Figure 3 and Figure 4, I compare June 2023's weather with that of the previous three years. Temperature-wise, 2023 had the lowest maximum daily temperature of this set but it did have four days where the daily maximum was 30 ℃ or above. Combined with the higher observed minimum temperature (8 ℃ compared with 6 ℃ in the previous three years), meant the average daily temperature for the month was noticeably higher.
Figure 3: Temperature Data for the Last Four Junes (2020 - 2023)

As Figure 4 illustrates, relative to the previous 3 years (2020 - 2022), sunshine was up and rainfall was down. Also a quiet month windwise due to high pressure over the UK for most of the month.

Figure 4: Rain, Sunshine, and Wind Data for the Last Four Junes (2020 - 2023)

The UK Met Office produces monthly weather summaries; here is the one for June 2023. Their overview for the whole of the UK was ...

"June began fine and settled, with temperatures around average, but from the 9th it became warm and humid, and rather less settled, with thunderstorms breaking out in many areas. It remained very warm or hot for most of the rest of the month, but cooled down again in the final few days. It also became rather unsettled generally towards the end of the month"

... which is a pretty good summary of the weather in Hereford.

Mean temperature anomalies are illustrated in Figure 5 taken from the Met Office Report. Western Britain and Northern Ireland were extremely warm whereas Herefordshire (outlined) was only very warm! Temperatures recorded by my Davis Weather Station, located within the City of Hereford, will be influenced by the Urban Heat Island effect so were, possibly, a little higher than suggested by the Met Office map (Figure 5).

Figure 5: UK Mean Temperature Anomalies (Met Office)

Figure 6 shows the UK rainfall map as reported by the Met Office. Herefordshire was between 50% and 125% of the long-term average depending on your location within the county. The nearest Met Office weather station is Credenhill, a couple of miles down the road, where the long-term average (1991 - 2020) June rainfall is 47.83 mm. This is in good agreement with my 2020-2022 average of 45.3 mm (Figure 4). I can reliably report, therefore, that precipitation in my Hereford garden was low at around 70% of the expected value.

Figure 6: Relative UK Rainfall for June 2023 (Met Office)

My weather station recorded a slightly sunnier than usual June (Figure 4) - about 6% more than the average for 2020-2022. The Met Office uses a longer period (1991 - 2020) to define the contemporaneus  average sunshine duration for June (Figure 7); reporting a 10-30% higher value for June 2023 compared with the 1991 - 2020 mean. On all counts, though, a very sunny June!

Figure 7: Sunshine Hours Anomaly Relative to 1991 - 2020 Mean (Met Office)

Jobs in the Garden
  • On return from short holiday, lots of catching up replenishing nutrient solutions in Quadgrows and reinvigorating the hot composters which had cooled to ~40 ℃ in our absence. Fortunately, neighbours had left plenty of garden waste to process.
  • During dry spell at the beginning of the month (Figure 2), regular feeding/watering of fruit trees (apple, plum, cherry & pear), bushes (blackcurrant, redcurrant, gooseberry, blueberry), canes (raspberries) and vines (red & white grape). I use a balanced fertilizer (18-18-18 NPK) diluted 1 to 2000 (i.e. foliar feed strength) to encourage flower and fruit formation.
  • Sow corn and broad bean seeds in Rootrainers for planting out in mid-to-late June.
  • Extra watering/feeding duties in the flower garden. Also neighbour's garden as they are on holiday.
  • Earthing up potatoes on regular basis.
  • Plant out brassicas and net the plot against butterflies.
  • Plant out Swiss chard and Spinach Beet.
  • Transplanted carrots, parsnips & beetroot from Quadgrow seedbed to final growing position. Use insect mesh to shade new transplants from high temperatures/sunny conditions - regular nightly watering until settled in.
  • All waterbutts empty by 9th June; hoping for rain soon! At last decent amount of rain on 13th.
  •  Plant out Sweetcorn and Squashes, French Beans, Red cabbage, Calabrese and Cauliflowers.
  • Harvesting Cucumbers, Raspberries, Courgettes and a few Gooseberries.
  • Prepare batch of Comfrey Tea.
  • Succession sowing French Beans, Broad Beans, Snap Peas, Salad Leaves and Radishes.
  • On return from another short holiday, lots of catching up replenishing nutrient solutions in Quadgrows and reinvigorating one the hot composters which had cooled to ~45 ℃ (the other hot composter was happily operating at 60 ℃) in our absence.
Flora and Fauna
  • 1 x Blue Tit
  • 2 x Blackbirds (Male & Female)
  • 2 x Collared Doves
  • 2 x Crows
  • 1 x Great Tit
  • 12 x House Sparrows
  • 1 x Robin
  • 10 x Starlings
Video 2: Juvenile Starling on Bird Feeder
  • 14 x Swifts
  • 3 x Wood Pigeons
  • 6 x Bats
  • 1 x Large White Butterfly
  • 1 x Meadow Brown Butterfly
Photo 3: Meadow Brown Butterfly in Polytunnel (June 22nd)
  • 3 x Scarlet Tiger Moths
Photo 4: Scarlet Tiger Moth (18th June)
  • 1 x Small Tortoiseshell

And finally, a few photos from the garden in June:

Photo 5: Astrantia in the Paradise Garden (5th June)

Photo 6: Poppies and Alliums (5th June)

Photo 7: Rose, Paradise Garden (5th June)

Photo 8: Rose, Rose Garden (5th June)

Photo 9: Rose, Rose Garden (10th June)

Photo 10: Yellow Loosestrife (10th June)

Photo 11: Lily, patio (21st June)

Photo 12: Lily, patio (21st June)

Photo 13: Achillea, Paradise Garden (27th June)

Photo 14: Clematis, Secret/Wild Garden (28th June)

Photo 15: Doronicum, Secret/Wild Garden (28th June)

Photo 16: Rudbeckia, Secret/Wild Garden (28th June)


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