After Storm Callum

Anemone 'Ruffled Swan'

Anemone ‘Ruffled Swan’

And so she might be… fair to say it’s been petal ruffling weather over the last few days. ‘Ruffled Swan’ comes from the same stable as the now famous ‘Wild Swan’ with the same mauve backs to the outer petals. But this one, unlike its predecessor, is semi double creating the ruffled look even without the assistance offered by Storm Callum. I brought her back from the trip up to Trentham Gardens and, with impeccable timing, she opened her first blooms this weekend.


Verbena bonariensis


Verbena bonariensis

The impact of storms chez duck depends very much on the wind direction. Nestled in a valley surrounded by trees we tend to be protected on three sides. But if the wind comes from the south then we take it head on. As this one did. On the plus side at least it was warm. Strangely warm for October.. I was running about rescuing pots in a short sleeved T shirt with branches crashing to earth all around me.



And then out again at first light yesterday morning to clear the drive before this week’s retinue of tradesmen arrived.



The wheelbarrow set aside as a repository for bathroom related detritus, now with its own water source built in. No plumbing required.



And it’s weird, in a nice way, to be hearing the sound of a bubbling river once again. It had dwindled to a mere trickle over the driest summer we’ve had in years.



The character of the garden has changed much over the last couple of weeks, now littered with leaves as the trees start to turn. The acer alongside the lawn tends to reflect the type of summer we’ve had. Originally growing in the shadow of two enormous beech trees its autumn colour was limited to golden yellow. Exposed to more sun over the last few years the palette has been transformed, never more so than this year and presumably a sign of the stress that it has suffered. Quite a picture though..




Many of the acer’s leaves have been corralled into corners by the wind


Davidia involucrata


Davidia involucrata, against a debris strewn drive


Hamamelis x intermedia 'Robert'


Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Robert’



Fungi growing on a tree stump, a sure sign that the damp weather has returned. I am hoping this isn’t honey fungus. Don’t I have enough horticultural crosses to bear?


Rose 'Lady Emma Hamilton'


Rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’

But it’s not all bad news. Some of the roses are valiantly hanging on, albeit the blooms are smaller now and a little weather worn around the edges. In the days prior to the storm we had a few chilly nights, not quite a frost but teetering on the brink.


Rose 'Jude the Obscure'


Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’



The bank holding its own, much of the colour now provided by grasses


Molinia caerulea 'Transparent'


Molinia caerulea ‘Transparent’


Pseudowintera colorata 'Mount Congrieve'


Loving this combo of Pseudowintera colorata ‘Mount Congrieve’, a low growing shrub from New Zealand (left) and Ceratostigma plumbaginoides



And as we’re doing vibrant, how about this? Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Pötschke’ against the leaves of Enkianthus campanulatus, or what’s left of them after Callum. If only you’d seen it last week! And who comes up with these names anyway. Not the Enkianthus. No, I can cope with that. But what used to be an aster must now surely go into the Guinness Book of Records as the plant with the longest name?



Calm down, calm down. It’s autumn after all and as I gaze out of the window the Devon mizzle is closing in once more.

The season has most definitely turned.


Anemone x hybrida 'Serenade'


Anemone x hybrida ‘Serenade’