With the overnight storm of Saturday and the hammering and prolonged torrential rain of Sunday afternoon and evening, the garden has taken a bit of a battering. Even here on the ‘causse’ where the heaviest of prolonged rains drain away rapidly, small rivers were running down the garden and across the plots. The hens were teetering on unflooded spots in their compounds as water surged by them. Flash flooding occurred all over the place giving us a salutary reminder of just how quickly a serious emergency can occur. Until then, weather conditions had been just perfect for early blossoming and plant growth. Lovely warm weather followed by just the right amount of showery rain. You might say it has been a perfect Spring here.
Here are some ‘before the storm’ photos.
Gorgeous perennial geranium.
A beast of an artichoke dwarfing all that surrounds it.
The ever delightful Banks rose which gets bigger and bigger every year and brightens the early spring days.
White lilac smelling delicious and yes, the beehives are just over the wall behind.
Tulips adding some clear, bright colour to the spring days.
A Judas tree in the near background with its lovely magenta blossoms and kerria japonica in the far background spreading its yellow delight.
The fabulous tree peony just coming into flower. It is getting so large now it has need of David’s blacksmithing services in the form of a tree guard!
I’m thrilled with this grevillea juniperina below with its pinky flowers on the tips of its spiky fronds. It got badly hit a couple of years ago by a hard, winter frost but it has bounded back beautifully.
With pampas grass in the background.
Multi-coloured wallflowers that I grew from seed last year.
Centaurée de montagne, in blue in the background. Remind me of its English name? Such a great, hardy plant that does so well in our garden.
The pond with a huge colony of toad tadpoles beneath the waterline, a frog, a grass snake and a newt. The waterlilies are multiplying at an alarming rate as is the duckweed upon which David and I disagree! I hate it. He loves it. So, we compromise and just try to keep it under control.
Small, dark tulips and a feathery variety of anemone.
Rockery plants thriving in these spring conditions.
Unheard of to have pots of geraniums outside in April but here they are, enjoying the early warmth.
Ever reliable irises putting on their annual show.
More wallflowers of an oxblood colour.
No stopping the cranesbill geranium!
Aubretia, of course, which every year seems to come back from nothing to a brilliant cushion of flowers in next to no time.
Alliums that give height, colour and texture to borders at this time of year and they can be counted on to self seed!
And then the storms of the weekend hit us, testing all our drainage and overflow systems to the limit.
Little evidence now of the rivers of water that flowed through these hen compounds. The green vegetable matter is spinach and weeds thrown over for the hens to eat, not debris carried down by the water!
I am starting to organise plants for our sale and Open Weekend on 9th and 10th May. I was surprised to see that none on this table were damaged and they are all looking bright and buoyant.
It remains to be seen whether the row of haricot beans I sowed just before the storm and denoted by the white label, actually remained in the ground and didn’t get washed away.
The happy heucheras looking slightly bedraggled but, nevertheless, giving us a a splash of colour with the undersides of their leaves.
Sadly, many tadpoles were casualties of the storm as the pond overflowed and washed them out over the edge.
Tadpoles before the storm.
There are still hundreds of tadpoles in the pond and, fingers crossed, some of them will manage to reach maturity despite adverse weather conditions and other predators!
Here’s the tree peony after the storm. Drooping slightly but flowers are in tact.
Even the tulips managed to hang on to some of their petals despite the afternoon’s storm battering.
The artichoke, beaten but unbowed!
The relief of seeing the blossom on the lemon tree still there. It is my dream to be able to grow and pick my own lemons! Maybe this year?
All in all, I think we were quite lucky as we escaped the storm with just a few drainpipes to unblock (thank you sparrow nest builders, for dropping your vegetable debris in our gutters!) and some drainholes to free up (thank you gendarme beetles for hibernating over winter in there and blocking them). For the moment, the garden and all that is in it has withstood that particular battering.
Onwards and upwards to the Plant sale and Open Weekend here on 9th and 10th May 2015.
Maybe see you there?