After The Storm


We were lucky. After all the hype and anticipation, hurricane force Jude more or less passed us by. My thoughts are with those on the south coast and to the east who felt the brunt of the storm. There are a few minor branches to clear up, but it’s only an afternoon’s work.


Autumn debris Wm


The river has started to fill now though and will reach its winter level before too long.


River 007 Wm[1]


‘Just In Time’ gabion


Erosion defences 001 Wm


The same area earlier this summer



As we were in the garden this afternoon the rain came down again..


Autumn leaves 002 Wm[1]


How long will it be before we’ll need leaf (snow) poles for the drive?


2018-02-08T21:05:41+00:00October 28th, 2013|Tags: , |


  1. Serendipity October 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Glad you didn’t have too many problems there. Hope your driveway doesn’t get washed away!

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks Debbie. It hasn’t yet!

  2. Jill. October 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    So glad you didnt suffer. Its been glorious here in the North East of Scotland. Though we have had our share in the recent past. Thanks for the Hydrangea advice. We have two huge efforts whose flowers have become less and less, so heres hoping.

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      I think you probably get more than your fair share! But when the weather is good up there, there is nowhere better to be. Enjoy.

  3. countrysidetales October 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Very impressed with your river bank repairs- they look great, well done. So pleased you were alright last night. We were too. I’ve been worrying about everyone but so far no one I know has had any problems. 🙂

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      Thanks CT. The storm was much worse for you than for us. Glad all is well.

  4. Jill. October 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    So glad you missed the worst. Thanks for the Hydrangea advice, our two bushes have had less and less flowers, so heres hoping.

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jill. Have you tried regeneration pruning? Basically you cut out a quarter to a third of the oldest stems each year. It encourages the shrub to produce new ones, which are more floriferous.

  5. Amy at love made my home October 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Glad that you are OK and that the river has stayed put too! That has to be good news. That rain really came down this afternoon here, so glad that you stayed dry. xx

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      The river will probably get higher than this over the winter, it is a way off the top of the bank yet. Thankfully it is well below the level of the house too, about 15 metres. The new gabion will, we hope, protect an area of the bank that the water was eroding.

  6. snowbird October 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Oh goodness, you will need poles for sure soon! I really love that river, it really has swollen now!xxx

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      It certainly has. We’ve hardly heard it at all over the summer. Really gurgling now!

  7. wherefivevalleysmeet October 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    So pleased that you avoided the worst of the storms Jessica. The first picture is wonderful with the pretty bokehs in the background, and lovely to see your gabions doing their job – what a contrast from the summer now the river is in full flood.

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      I’m glad you like the picture, I’m rather pleased with it myself. I took it straight after the shower we were sheltering from so managed to capture the drips coming off the leaves. The bokeh is fresh water droplets on the surrounding plants. It was made all the more difficult because I was sliding down the wet bank and holding the camera in my hands, no tripod.

  8. Denise October 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Glad you are fine. I was thinking of you, surrounded as you are by trees. Yup, snow next, no doubt. But then snow leads to snowdrops, which lead to daffodils and Spring!!

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      My thoughts exactly! And in the meantime I shall hibernate.

  9. Rosie October 28, 2013 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Gosh that river has risen quite a lot! So glad that the storm more or less passed you by. The rain is hurtling down here at the moment yet late afternoon we had bright sunshine, I’m glad to be safe indoors:)

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm - Reply

      It’s been blustery showers here today, with sun in between. In the brief bits when the sun has been out, really mild and a pleasure to be outside. But we’ve had to run for cover at least three times!

  10. haggiz October 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Love that second to last photo, I’d be very happy to shelter under that tree and admire the view. Glad you didn’t have too much storm damage. Sadly we weren’t quite so lucky and now have a hole in our roof! Loss adjusters unable to come out until Saturday and we are at the mercy of the weather until then. Julie x

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Oh Julie, that’s awful news. Is there any way that you can fix a tarpaulin over the hole? I hope that the rain now holds off.

      • haggiz October 29, 2013 at 7:04 am - Reply

        Its a 3 storey house and anything that needs doing to the roof needs scaffolding so we’re a bit stuck really until they say we can go ahead… such a pain. On the plus side I think the weather is supposed to be fairly dry for the rest of the week 🙂 x

        • Jessica October 29, 2013 at 10:34 am - Reply

          I think it is. Keeping fingers crossed for you Julie. I hope it can be sorted out quickly once you get the go-ahead.

  11. Crafty Gardener October 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Good to know you had little damage from that storm system. I’m sure others have different stories to tell.
    That is one lot of leaves that came down.

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

      We get inundated with leaves, far more than we can compost. This year my plan is to only clear the paths, the drive and the little bits of lawn. Anything that falls on the soil can break down naturally where it lands.

  12. Pauline October 28, 2013 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    We have only just got our electricity back, having been without all day. We lost the top half of one of our oaks unfortunately in the middle of the night. I woke suddenly and heard such a loud crack, that must have been the oak splitting. So glad you didn’t have much damage and that all your trees are safe.

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      How different the weather can be even within the same county. So very sorry to hear about your oak Pauline. I hope it didn’t do further damage, wherever it landed.

  13. Anna October 28, 2013 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Glad to hear that your garden escaped the wrath of the storm Jessica. Great job with the gabion – will save you potential grief in the future. We have a normally shallow surface water stream on one boundary – scary how soon it can morph into a raging torrent. Will have to show gabion photo to himself as he built a gabion wall last year and wants to build another 🙂

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anna. I’m not sure this is the perfect example of the art… it was a quick and practical solution to a problem with materials that we already had. Next time I’d use metal supports for the wire and make it look less obvious. The wood is treated, but if it rots away we may well be replacing it in time. In the meantime we’ll hopefully have proved that it works!

  14. Sarah October 28, 2013 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    I’m glad you didn’t have too much damage in the storm. The river looks quite full and fast flowing. The rain is beating down here as I type such a contrast from the sunny day we had earlier.
    Sarah x

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm - Reply

      I hope you are OK too Sarah? By all accounts things were pretty bad your way too..

  15. Simone October 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    It is good that you are safe and well. I think the advanced warning was a good thing as we could take precautionary measures. So sorry for the people who succumbed to the ravages of nature.

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm - Reply

      Thanks Simone. Hope all is well with you too.

  16. Janet/Plantaliscious October 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    I love that first photo, beautiful. I love your river too, though it must be loads of work. Glad you were not storm-damaged, it missed us too, some aweful photos out there though. Look forward to photos of the tips of snow poles showing above snowdrifts …

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      Other than the gabion (needs must) we’ve ignored the river and surrounds so far. It’s very difficult to get to it. One day we will break a proper way through and create a path along the bank… long way ahead in the plan though! Yes, dreadful things that have happened so I’m glad you’re OK. Snow, brrrr..

  17. fjohn October 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    We too

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 11:32 pm - Reply

      Storms must be particularly terrifying for animals and birds. Glad all is well.

  18. Wendy October 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    I’m so glad the storm wasn’t too bad where you are. I think we were fortunate here, too – lots of surrounding villages had powercuts all day but we escaped that. We just had to deal with a lane full of branches that stopped all vehicles and one of our oaks has also lost a huge branch, but that’s not an emergency.
    Your river has certainly risen now. I would love the sound of that.

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      We have a dead oak at the top of the drive and I feared that would come down but it was still there this morning. I hate to see mighty trees fall, but it is part of the natural cycle I suppose.
      I’m glad you’re OK, sounded bad your way.

  19. CJ October 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    I love the photo of the winter river, it’s beautiful. I didn’t notice the storm here at all, I think I must have slept throught it. Everything looked surprisingly calm when I woke up. I think we were very lucky. Hope you have a good week Jessica.

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      I slept through it too. But then so did I sleep through the 1987 storm, and we were in the middle of it then! This storm seems to have tracked a lot further south than was forecast. Have a good week too CJ.

  20. Linda October 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Came here from Crafty Gardener…
    Your photography is beautiful Jessica…
    Glad you “weathered” the storm….
    What a lovely blog..♥

    Linda :o)

    • Jessica October 28, 2013 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda, thank you and welcome to rusty duck!
      For us anyway the storm was not as bad as it could have been. There are people a lot worse off. Being surrounded by trees though, some badly maintained and close to the house, I feared the worst.

  21. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA October 29, 2013 at 12:37 am - Reply

    So glad the storm bypassed south of you. I do feel for those folks below. We here in the eastern part of the US have another few weeks of hurricane season to go, then winter begins. I am cutting down gardens now as the last of the leaves fall.
    Your river bank supports look really good.

    • Jessica October 29, 2013 at 10:25 am - Reply

      Thanks Suzanne. I must get outside and get ours sorted out too, if we get a few dry days. The rain last week, and now the big storm, has saturated the soil.

  22. nataliescarberry October 29, 2013 at 2:18 am - Reply

    Love that top photo of the three leaves! I’m so glad the storm missed you and that you are well. Blessings, Natalie

    • Jessica October 29, 2013 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Thank you Natalie. Hurricanes are very rare here, the last storm like this was 1987. I feared it would be much worse as the ground is so wet, making trees less resilient.

  23. BadPenny October 29, 2013 at 8:16 am - Reply

    I feel so sad hearing about the fatalities due to the storm.

    • Jessica October 29, 2013 at 10:36 am - Reply

      I know. The power of nature makes us feel very helpless sometimes.

  24. Jenny October 29, 2013 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Your river looks so different now, well done on the repairs. I think we missed the worst of the storm here and sounds like you did too. Phew!

    • Jessica October 29, 2013 at 10:44 am - Reply

      The river level may have dropped a bit this morning. Now that the leaves are starting to fall I can see it better, if not get to it very easily!

  25. Em October 29, 2013 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Not long I should imagine! We got off SO lightly too. Just another windy night. x

    • Jessica October 29, 2013 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Glad you’re OK Em, it must have been a bit bleak up there.

  26. Jo October 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    I’m glad to hear that you didn’t have much damage. The wind got up a bit here on Sunday but died down again, and we had heavy rain yesterday morning, but nothing very unusual. The river looks so different to how it did in summer. I love to hear running water, it’s somehow calming.

    • Jessica October 29, 2013 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      When it gets as full as this, and if we have the window open, I can hear it lying in bed. It has a soporific effect, combined with the knowledge that it is a long way below the house.

  27. Cathy October 29, 2013 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    The general opinion is that the warnings given helped to minimise damage, as there was no sure way of saying exactly what spots would bear the brunt – you will be relieved that it was mostly leaves and twigs in your case. But what a wonderful river – is it actually YOURS ie runs through your property? It puts my pumped stream to shame (when it’s running…) when you have a real live river of your own…. It’s good to see pictures of your wider plot, so thanks for sharing.

    • Jessica October 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      The river forms one of our boundaries, so we own one bank. The land bordering it is currently a wilderness and a quagmire! When I finally get to that bit it will make a perfect bog garden, but it’s a long way off in the scheme of things!

  28. starproms October 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    There’s a really big difference in the water levels of your river, isn’t there. So pretty though. I’m glad you didn’t suffer in the storm. I’m in Bedfordshire and we were fairly lucky too. The storm passed over very quickly thank goodness and all my trees were still standing afterwards.

    • Jessica October 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      I’m glad your trees are OK, it’s so sad when one is lost. Let’s hope it will be another few years before we get a storm like that again.

  29. Laura October 30, 2013 at 12:38 am - Reply

    I love hydrangeas. The pruning job you did looks like you’re going to have a very happy plant next year!

    • Jessica October 30, 2013 at 10:49 am - Reply

      Thanks Laura.. I hope so!

  30. Anna B November 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Glad to hear you escaped the eye of the storm! I must say your house and garden fascinates me, it looks totally amazing! What a wonderful place you live in! I just love reading you blog in the hope to see more and more photos of your wonderful garden and what looks like your own woodland!! 🙂

    • Jessica November 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      Most of the land is woodland, but it’s in an awful state. My plan is to get the areas close to the house sorted out first, and then work outwards. We probably have enough work to keep a tree surgeon going for a month! Thanks Anna, great to have you here.

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