Sunshine after the storm

Aquilegias and geraniums with thrift and loveage
The raised border – now restored to glory.
Aquilegias and geraniums with thrift and loveage

It is a fact of geography and climate that when the weather is foul in England it is often wonderful in the Western Isles. Since that last gale in early May we’ve had virtually no rain and day after day of sunshine. With a north-easterly air flow it has been a little on the chilly side, arid and very sunny. Typical summer weather in the Outer Hebrides. It is a myth that our summers are wet, cold and windy – well not all the time.
So for all the gardeners on the big island who are having to cope with summer gales and torrential rain this blog is for you. Your garden will recover, it might need a period of intensive care and even some new planting, so have a rant and a moan and be encouraged by the way my garden recovered from 70 mph winds in less than a month.

Aquilega vulgaris
Aquilega vulgaris, Granny’s Bonnets in full bloom 3 weeks after the storm

The vegetable garden is more exposed and catches the full force of the wind. The garlic and shallots which were shredded and ragged have now made a full recovery and the rhubarb bed resembles a colony of triffids.

garlic and shallots
Garlic and shallots (autumn planted)
Rhubarb – crowns grown from seed in 2011.

17 thoughts on “Sunshine after the storm”

  1. Your Aquilega look so pretty against the wall and it the veg has made a fantastic recovery. My rocket was shredded by hailstones a few weeks ago and that made a great recovery… although it looked very sad for a while!

  2. These are charming images. It’s good to be reminded that plants have been dealing with what Mother Nature dishes out far longer than we have. Last weekend, we had torrential rain in Maine with lots of minor flooding along streams and rivers. The day the rain stopped, I went down to check out the level of the river that flows under a bridge near my house; it was out of its banks and flowing high and fast. There’s a tree on a small island just downstream from the bridge, and I use this tree to gauge the water level; sometimes the water level is about 6 feet below the top of the island, while at high water only a few feet of the tree’s top can be seen above the water. This time, the tree was totally submerged and I wondered if it would survive. Two days later, the top of the tree could once more be seen above the water; by yesterday, the whole tree was visible and looking none the worse for wear.

  3. Sometimes it is the simple straightforward old fashioned varieties that do well. I’m just hoping that the Aquilegas are as promiscuous and profligate as they are elsewhere.
    At rifts I despaired over the storm damage but now I know that given a chance that most plants will recover.

  4. Mother Nature is as fierce as she is healing. Glad to see your garden has recovered so well after the last blast. I love the beautiful columbines you have – perfect “spring” shades of blue and pink!

  5. Great to see the recovery in your garden – yes, it’s now our turn to have a lashing of wind and rain down south.

  6. I am very impressed, and hopeful that the same effect can be repeated down here in Sonwdonia – though I might have to wait until after this weekend, as the forecast sound apocalyptic. Maybe I should stop gardening and build an ark instead…

    I do hope your weather continues better – I’m glad someone’s is!

  7. I thought there had been a storm when I was away so if it was early May it was soon after I left, I also came home to a very dry garden so knew it had not rained for a couple of weeks, I was away for 3 weeks been back 4 how time flies, the thrift is amazing I’ve seen it growing right on the cliff edge, glad your other plants all recovered, most do but my poor willows that were sapped in May 2011 just as they were coming into leaf have not recovered, I’m sorry I don’t agree that we usually get these north/east winds, for me they only started last year, May used to be the best month without too much wind and often dry or nearly dry and warm but last year it all changed, I hope you are still enjoying dry but chilly weather as we are, Frances

  8. What I wouldn’t give for a long hard steady rain here in the Midwest. It is bone dry and the chrysanthemums are already blooming. The autumn is sure to be peculiar if this continues. So nice to see your perennials bouncing back. They are lovely.

  9. Take heart it will recover I promise, apocalyptic destruction is always temporary. Next year you really must observe the Beltane rituals, I’d never have believed that dancing naked round a bonfire could be so effective – or perhaps weather gods were so shocked that they’d agree to anything to stop me!

  10. Hi Frances, we obviously have very different weather patterns – according to my neighbours, who always have time to discuss the weather, NE winds in the spring are common, but perhaps not every year. the weather pattern seems very persistent, coolish days, cold nights, lots and lots of sunshine and no rain. I’m not complaining but the lack of the natural wet stuff is causing problems.

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