Wet Wet Wet

Puddle 001 Wm[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=

And still it goes on..


Gardening is impossible here at the moment. How I wish I could get outside. But when I’ve tried to put my welly boot on any piece of ground it just sinks three or four inches and the hole fills up with water. Cabin fever has got me in its grip .

Moss 002 Wm[3]

Watching sentinel..


A couple of posts back, Frances drew my attention to the moss on the trunks of the trees. I suppose because it is here all the time, even through most summers, I don’t notice it anymore.


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The lushness of green in this shot could be straight out of summer. The quality of the light in the background gives the clue. Fleeting rays of sunshine penetrate right through to the woodland floor. The trees are bare. These ferns though are growing straight off a branch perhaps 20 feet up in the air.


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The river. Brown and running at full pelt.

The bottom of the valley is many feet below the house and the water level drops again as rapidly as it rises.

This time last year the view was hidden by dense hedges and trees. Yet this morning I was watching three deer down there. Mama, Papa and Baby Deer. What a reward for clearing it all out.


River 013 Wm[1]


Someone will need to wade out when the water level recedes and remove all the fallen branches.


Storm Damage 009 Wm[1]


The chainsaw will be called into action here too.

One falling tree has put paid to five. For the height of these trees, I believe this one was an ash, the rootball is tiny and shallow. It’s hardly any wonder that storms bring them down, especially when the ground is as sodden as it is right now.


And this morning we’re in the grips of Storm Imogen. Promised 70 mile an hour winds at lunchtime. The lights are already flickering.

I’d better push the publish button in case we lose the power..


Wet Wet Wet

pin it?

2017-10-24T19:32:42+00:00February 8th, 2016|Tags: |


  1. Backlane Notebook February 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Yes and the wind is turning the mulberry tree next door into a whirling dervish. It’s shockingly windy and the allotment will be out of bounds until the beds begin to dry out. So frustrating but I’ve lit the wood burner and I’m reading some very good recent novels: Anne Enright, Anne Tyler and Jenny Offill.

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      That sounds like a good move. There has to come a time when we just admit defeat, however enthusiastic we might be.

  2. FlowerAlley February 8, 2016 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    I live on the side of a hill, also. Wow. These were dramatic photos showing that water has a will of its own. Whew!

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      It does feel like something that is alive. But that’s good because it moves through and out of the valley very quickly. Even after all the rain we’ve had this year the river has stayed within its banks.

  3. Alain February 8, 2016 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    It does look wet!
    In southern Ontario just now there is no snow on the ground. We are at least 20 degrees warmer than we would normally be at this time of the year. It is worrisome because if normal temperatures were to suddenly appear, it would really kill a lot of plants with no snow protection.

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      I read recently that the Arctic is something like 55F above normal average for this time of year. It is scary stuff.

  4. Christina February 8, 2016 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    I awoke to rain here too this morning but, of course, nothing like the quantity of rain you’re suffering. You’re wise to keep off the soil, so much damage can be caused by compressing soaking wet soil. Our lights here flicker when there’s strong wind and our internet often runs more slowly!

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Even where I can work off paths the soil is so sticky I can’t do anything meaningful. I am giving up now until it starts to dry out. I’m assuming it will…!

  5. Piddlewick February 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Wet, wet, wet here too. Not so much rain, but just not sunny to dry it out. Our chicken and duck area has turned into a quagmire. The ducks are loving it, the chickens are tiptoeing.

    Do you burn your felled wood, or to you wood work it? (We do both, depending on the type and size.)

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      We will be burning it, once it has seasoned. But there are also plenty of log piles scattered through the wood which I hope will benefit invertebrates.

  6. derrickjknight February 8, 2016 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Good pics. I’m keeping my fingers crossed re power because, although I’ve drafted the morning, I prefer to post at the end of the day

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 9:04 pm - Reply

      Have you tried scheduling a post? It’s very reliable and you can still access it to edit through the day if you want to. I don’t do it often, but if we’re out on the road or something it’s handy.

  7. KarenB. February 8, 2016 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    The mossy tree is beautiful!

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Karen and welcome. Did you spot the face in it? I thought it looked like it was watching me. It’s a friendly face though 🙂

  8. ontheedgegardening February 8, 2016 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Stay safe down there! What is the structure when you look down to the river, remains of an old building?

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      It’s a nook that is home to a bench in the summer. When there was a tall hedge off to the right it looked more in keeping but now feels rather at odds. The proposed lower hedge around the lawn might help, otherwise I shall need to put my thinking cap on. The land rises steeply behind it so it will have to stay in some form. And the philadelphus above it needs a prune when I can get to it.

  9. Denise February 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Well, by the time Storm Imogen reached mid-Kent she was little more than a damp puff. Local radio was going on about amber warnings and I was out and about without even the hood up on my coat – ha! Ah well…p’raps it was more exciting where you are. Nothing like the Great Storm of ’87. Now that WAS something!

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      I slept through the Great Storm. I remember vaguely half waking up to rattling windows but that was it.
      Poor old Michael Fish is probably to blame for the forecasts. Now they seem to over egg it rather than be caught napping. It was pretty wild down here for a bit. At least it felt like that from inside the greenhouse. Yes, I know..

  10. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD February 8, 2016 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Sometimes I think being a gardener means that the weather is always doing the wrong thing. Too wet, too dry, too much snow, too little etc. The river shots are pretty dramatic. I guess I was imagining something more gentle.

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      Amazing to think it’s just six inches deep and crystal clear in a dry summer. It’s hard to capture the speed, the water can move at a cracking pace. An hour after these pictures the rain stopped and it dropped about a foot. Better that it moves through so quickly. Rainfall has been exceptional this year and it’s stayed within its banks.

  11. Sam February 8, 2016 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Storm Imogen is/was pretty fierce here on the Kent coast. Last night was very noisy indeed and the ferries are stacked up. Gosh, your river looks like it’s flowing rapidly. How brilliant to be able to see more of it since you thinned your trees, though. Hope it dries up enough for you to get out and into the garden soon. (Moss is wonderful.)

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      It really does need to dry up soon, there is so much to be getting on with. Glad you weathered the storm. I heard the ferries got cancelled. It can’t be much fun being out in a storm like that.

  12. Julie February 8, 2016 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Hoping there will be an end to your rain soon, enough is enough. How lovely to see the Deer family this morning, I can imagine how heart warming that was and as for the roots of trees they are a constant surprise.

    • Jessica February 8, 2016 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Enough is definitely enough. It’s the first time I’ve seen the deer family all together, although it is last year’s fawn so almost adult size now. It looks as if the stag is starting to chase it off.

  13. Rosie February 8, 2016 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    It is very wet, wet, wet here too the paths up to the pond are under water, the pond is overflowing and the grass squelches underfoot. When will it end? On a happier note how lovely to see the deer family, stay safe from storm Imogen, hopefully we will soon be able to get into the garden again:)

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      I was in the process of composing this reply last night and had just written that I could hear the wind rising again.. and then the power went off! We do so desperately need a drier spell. We can but hope.

  14. kate@barnhouse February 8, 2016 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I hope the storm has not caused too much damage in your neck of the woods? This one homed in on the south west so north Devon and Cornwall must have had a rough day. Must be lovely to see browsing deer and plush looking moss in your woods and those high-rise ferns are amazing. I think there’s a surfeit of ivy in the beech woods here this year, I’ve not noticed so much of it before ….

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      There are a lot of branches down, most of them small ones, but quite a bit of clearing up to do at some point. Yes, plenty of ivy here also. A huge branch of it was one of the casualties, but I don’t suppose it does the trees much good anyway.

  15. Jacqueline February 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Rain stopped play …… same here. It seems to have been pouring for days now. I guess we will reap the benefit’s later i the year !! Time for a bit of decorating perhaps !!!! XXXX

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Most of the late winter blooms are looking a pretty sorry state now. What with the weather and the very happy slug population. At least the cold used to keep those under control.

  16. Sue C. February 8, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Wonderful photos. I too love the moss and the stream in full spate looks brilliant. It’s wet here in Somerset too and very windy. I’m looking out (and thankfully, more to the point, down) on the Levels which are flooded again – although not to the extent of 2 years ago. The garden is sodden like yours and having been away I’m itching to get on and prune but that will have to wait for drier days.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      I was driving through the Levels last month and it looked pretty wet then, it must be even worse now. It’s so frustrating when there’s so much to do and you can’t get out and get on with it. Hope you had a good time away.

  17. Sol February 8, 2016 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    hope your safe this weather is driving me mad.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      It doesn’t help our progress does it. Thanks Sol.

  18. Angie February 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    For the first time this winter Scotland seems to be getting some respite from the wind and rain. I hope you receive some calm before too long Jessica. Wonderful pictures of the river – full of drama.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      It’s been a totally different day today. Calm, with even some sunshine. Still far too soggy to garden. But it’s a step in the right direction.

  19. Vera February 8, 2016 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Hope the weather calms down for you soon! Love the moss and ferns up on the branches, very pretty!

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Moss everywhere. It gives the place something of a primeval look. Thanks Vera.

  20. Amy at love made my home February 8, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    ugghh!! It really is so wet! At least we don’t have a river running through our garden like you do. Hope that it stays put in its banks and that the gabions hold! xx

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:46 pm - Reply

      The river has been there for so many years, it is used to coping with a bit of water. Last time we looked at the gabion it was still holding, just needs a bit of strengthening around the edges. A summer job!

  21. Joanne February 8, 2016 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I hope you stay safe, it’s been windy & wet here but I’m not sure if the storm will hit – fingers crossed it doesn’t x

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      It was our turn I suppose, you’ve had more than your fair share!! Thanks Joanne.

  22. Sarah February 8, 2016 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    We too are finding some frustrating not to e out in the garden. Both children commented separately that the garden was looking a mess! The colour of your stream is the same colour as the water in the harbour. I have never seen it so muddy before! I’m glad your house is above that stream! Hope you didn’t loose power. Sarah x

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      I thought we’d got away without losing power and then it went off after the worst of the storm had passed through. An enforced early night.

  23. homeslip February 8, 2016 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    It has been extraordinarily windy at home today. Luckily our new cottage garden is very sheltered and there is something very comforting about a cottage that has stood for around 250 years. I was going to call in at the allotment to check the netting on the purple sprouting broccoli but it was too uncomfortable to be outside. I do not know how my husband manages to cycle off road to work but he’s home now. The green moss is beautiful and makes me think of a Japanese garden. Have you ever visited Kingston Lacy in Dorset? I think it may have been created in the space left behind by a quarry as it is in a steep-sided dell. It will dry up and you will get into the garden but in the meantime relax and put your feet up.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      Kingston Lacy sounds intriguing, I’ve not seen it.
      Reasonably sheltered here too although much depends on the wind direction. It was certainly much rougher at the top of the hill than in the valley, if the number of fallen branches is anything to go by.

  24. frayed at the edge February 8, 2016 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    We have just seen on the news how bad the storm is down south – stay safe and dry!

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anne. We fared much better than those closer to the coast. Some of the pictures are quite incredible.

  25. Island Threads February 8, 2016 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    glad I encouraged you to look again Jessica, the ferns growing from the moss look lovely, so much nicer than the dreaded grass!! when I was in British Columbia, west Canada, the ancient sequoias along the coast and on Vancouver island had very think moss with lots of ferns and other plants growing, some even had small trees like rowans growing in the moss high in the tree, conservationists were trying to get more areas protected from clear cutting by loggers as scientists had discovered so much life in the moss, high up in the tree canopy they found insects etc. that have never been know of before, I don’t know the situation now, I was there in the 1990s, that close up of your moss, it looks as if it is sphagnum moss, it holds more water than a sponge,

    as for the wet, well you know I now garden in a swamp! the tree roots, I have always been surprised how shallow and small they are, but here, in this forever windy place I have noticed the trees and shrubs send out very, very long roots just under the soil surface and I have learnt they do that to stabilise themselves in the winds, these roots are for no other purpose, they don’t feed the tree, I hope not too many trees come down and no serious damage has been done,

    your river looks like melted chocolate, how lovely to see the deer family down there, I hope they don’t come up and eat your plants, Frances

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Funnily enough, there was a deer in the garden today. Eating a rose. Other than unattractive fencing I don’t know how I combine my enjoyment of seeing them at the lower levels with the damage that they can cause.
      Birds, especially wrens, spend hours picking under moss so there must be so much life under there. Unfortunately they also strip it from stone urns and troughs where I am trying to nurture it!

  26. Brian Skeys February 8, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    I hope you have survived today ok, the West Country appears to be getting the brunt of Imogen!
    I think we are all fed up with this winter.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      We certainly are. I just hope Spring and Summer make up for it.

  27. Christina February 8, 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Gosh, Jessica, the rain that you get there too much, we certainly get to little. The forecast calls for 29 degrees Celsius here today and that in the middle of winter, there is no trace of El Nino…
    We had a storm lately of 50 mph and that was already way more than I was comfortable with. I hope you stay safe during your 70 mph winds and I also hope that there is only very little damage to your property if any!
    I do have to say though that the lushness looks beautiful in your photos to this very hot and dry Southern Californian :-)!
    Warm regards,

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      Your temperatures sound very pleasant to me Christina, but I know that the heat and the drought can get too much to bear. It’s a shame we can’t all enjoy a happy medium.

  28. Charlie@Seattle Trekker February 8, 2016 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    Amazing photos; that is wet, it has rained a lot here and the ground is soft, but it isn’t puddling like that.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      The picture shows one of the areas I’ve recently cleared. Hopefully it will improve when I can get some roots buried in there, soaking up the moisture. But there’s still only so much that the plants can absorb.

  29. sustainablemum February 8, 2016 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    I haven’t been in my garden for months now, I am sinking like you. I am thinking perhaps I should just grow watercress this year in the veg plot…….

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      That’s a good idea. I presume we’re too cold for rice?

  30. Jennifer February 8, 2016 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Stay safe in that storm! It sounds like it could be serious.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      It’s the frequency of them that is troubling. They seem to line up one after the other.

  31. CherryPie February 9, 2016 at 12:22 am - Reply

    A river runs through.. Our English weather is challenging us again as 2016 emerges…

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 8:56 pm - Reply

      It certainly is. I wonder what summer will hold. Our weather has become so unpredictable. Even the experts don’t seem to know.

  32. germac4 February 9, 2016 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Great photos Jessica…as you say the river looks alive …and as someone commented, like melted chocolate! I hope it eases up sometime soon. We have had double our monthly rainfall this summer, but as Canberra is usually very dry, it is welcome…. however, these extremes of weather are a worry….

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      It’s good that you’ve had the rain if you need it. There are so few places where weather conditions are ideal right now.

  33. Kris P February 9, 2016 at 4:07 am - Reply

    Mother Nature is so indiscriminate! How I wish you could redirect some of that rain here! The impediment to the El Nino rains reaching us is reportedly a ridge of high pressure similar to the one forecasters dubbed the “ridiculously resilient ridge” last year. We have absolutely no sign of rain in the forecast for the next 10 days and the rain for the season-to-date here is a paltry 3.3 inches (8.38cm).

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      It worries me that some places in the world are becoming too dry and hot to sustain plant growth and others too wet and cold. Just how will we be able to produce enough food to sustain a growing population. Here, whole fields of corn were ploughed in last year because the yield was so poor.

  34. willow February 9, 2016 at 7:18 am - Reply

    We caught the edge of the storm and the metal post of my rotary clothes line snapped and the sheets and pillow cases lay under it on the lawn! I suppose it was too windy to peg out the washing but I don’t have a tumble drier and I take advantage of any dry spells between showers.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Oh no! At least they didn’t blow away. I’ve long since had to give up drying outside because the birds used the washing for target practice. I do miss the freshness though.

  35. Sue Garrett February 9, 2016 at 10:45 am - Reply

    It must be lovely to watch the river knowing that it is far enough down below you not to cause any problems.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      Flooding was starting to be more of an issue while we were house hunting, so it was front of mind.

  36. Wendy February 9, 2016 at 11:44 am - Reply

    How wonderful to watch those deer! I do love the fast flowing stream and the moss and the ferns. I imagine it does look beautiful with the sun filtering through (although it would nice to actually see the sun once in a while!)

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      In the deeper part of the wood the canopy is so dense that very little other than brambles seems to grow underneath. I wouldn’t be sorry if a few more trees come down there.. provided they didn’t hit anything of course. It would be nice to get a bit more light through.
      It’s quite an event when the sun comes out these days!

  37. Chloris February 9, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    I know what you mean, I’ m suffering from cabin fever too. I don’ t know which is the worse, endless rain which makes the garden into a bog or constant winds. Hate it all! But what dramatic views you have got now that you have opened up the view to the river. It is a wonderful sight in full spate.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      I just hope we get a decent summer. It’s not as though we don’t deserve one.

  38. pagedogs February 9, 2016 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    So much water. I hope you weather Imogen without being blown away or sliding down the hill.

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      Way too much water. At least we won’t have to worry about water restrictions for a few months!

  39. Cathy February 9, 2016 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Yes, we can admire your dramatic views from a distance rather like you have been doing from your sheltered spot, but wind and rain can wreak havoc as you already know so do stay safe

    • Jessica February 9, 2016 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      We’d been house hunting in Scotland too, a place I would have loved to live. But in the end thought the weather would be better down here. Ho Ho!

  40. Sarah Shoesmith February 11, 2016 at 11:45 am - Reply

    What a feisty one Imogen turned out to be. I hope the river level is dropping and that you are getting better weather now. I also hope that those deer keep off any prized plants. The rabbit fencing keeps the deer here in the fields. I do miss seeing the deer right outside my bedroom window, but I absolutely do not miss their fondness for newly planted trees and shrubs!

    • Jessica February 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      I can see the deer are going to be a problem. I’d hoped their natural nervousness would keep them down at the lower level and away from the house. But they were up here chewing roses a couple of days ago.

  41. Sheila February 12, 2016 at 1:46 am - Reply

    I saw some pictures of the Cornish coast being battered by furious waves. I hope you didn’t lose your power and the storm didn’t cause too much damage. It’s nice to be able to see the steam and the deer isn’t it. Everything looks so lush there for the time of year, we are in the depths of a deep freeze, it will be several months before we see anything green..!

    • Jessica February 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      We lost power, but only for about an hour so no harm done. A frost here last night and more to come over the next few days. The mild winter has brought so much on, I hate to see all the new buds frozen!

  42. casa mariposa February 12, 2016 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Virginia is known for it’s woods and trees but I can’t even imagine ferns growing out of tree branches here! Your area is so moist and lush. i hope you came through the storm ok. 🙂

    • Jessica February 12, 2016 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      Thanks Tammy. Yes, pretty much unscathed. Just a lot of branches to get cleared up. The ferns growing in the trees was a surprise to me to, something reserved for the wet west of the country perhaps. It looks almost primeval.

  43. Janet/Plantaliscious February 13, 2016 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    So dispiriting, all the wet weather. And those poor trees! So worth while doing all that clearing though, to have the views down through the woodland to the river like that. The moss is spectacular – I hope you have a run of better weather soon.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      It’s supposed to be getting colder again over the next couple of days. But less rain and that can’t be bad. I desperately need to get out there now, already lagging way behind.

  44. Donna@Gardens Eye View February 15, 2016 at 1:44 am - Reply

    My that is a lot of water….and we are trapped inside with no gardening but by snow and cold -20F weather. I love the lushness of your garden and woods. We will have flooding soon enough when the snow melts and rains come…Tuesday may start this as another storm with ice, rain and snow blows in.

    • Jessica February 15, 2016 at 9:24 am - Reply

      At least it’s been a short winter, as far as the snow and ice are concerned anyway. I hope the storm is not too bad.

  45. Peter/Outlaw February 16, 2016 at 6:24 am - Reply

    As you huddle inside against the wind and rain, try and remember how little time we have before summer beats back the sogginess of winter.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      Well that’s true. Some years here it’s just as wet in summer though. Just not quite so cold!

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