Flood

Most people in Britain have been hit by heavy rain recently, and I’m just one of many. Still, it puts the garden into a new perspective. Here is the poppy border, with my standing stone behind it. When the pond floods, it takes no prisoners.

The blue poppies weren’t actually in their border, as I had moved them out in order to improve the drainage – which seems somewhat ironic. But they wouldn’t have minded too much – they have been under water before.

The gunnera tinctoria is managing to keep it leaves above water, but almost everything else is submerged. Luckily it will only take about 24 hours after the rain stops for things to return to normal.

The mill dam becomes a violent place when it rains hard. I often contemplate a small hydro plant here, but when the burn is in spate like this, I can’t imagine that it would last for long. Huge bits of tree, tangles of farmers’ wire…everything gets flung down by the rage of the water.

Away from the floods, the colchicums make a welcome patch of colour in an otherwise bleak garden. Some people don’t like these ‘naked ladies’, but I welcome their bright purple at a time when there is not much else to look at. All mine are planted in turf – if you grow them in a border, the leaves – which emerge in April/May are just a bore. But in thick grass they don’t spread very well, and you need to dig up the clumps now and again and spread the bulbs around. Colchicum is highly poisonous – similar to arsenic. Just so as you know.

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18 thoughts on “Flood

  1. Reading here today I learned the meaning of “in spate” — which at first sounded rather like something to do with fertility — and also that those lame little autumn crocuses are deadly. (I must keep it in mind in case I ever write a murder mystery.) What a beautiful image of the raging creek-turned-river. No wonder your lawns are green.

  2. I had no idea about the Colchicums. The number of innocuous seeming garden plants that are actually poisonous is a bit scary.

    It’s awesome when a small stream turns into a raging torrent, it’s a bit cliched but it really brings home the power of the natural world.

  3. What a contrast to the tranquility of your previous post. If the pond floods at this time of the year, are you stuck (sorry) with a soggy, unworkable garden for the next 6 months? Thanks for the information on the autumn crocus too, no saffron from them then. Great post, great pictures as always, thank you

    • Indeed…I won’t be able to dig anything much before April. This has its advantages and provides me with an excuse for not clearing out all the dead herbaceous stuff – I just let the frost do it for me. Thanks for your kind comments.

  4. The power of nature is awesome, so glad that you told us the flooded pond would soon be back to normal once the rain stops. Hope all your plants round your pond survive.

    • The plants don’t seem to mind the odd cold bath. Most of the bog plants I grow naturally live where flooding is a way of life anyway. And I suppose a new layer of fertile silt will help.

  5. Did you happen to notice what time all the previous comments were left? Presumably we all rushed to read and comment on your new post when it popped into our Inboxes, rather than getting off to work! (Ditto now, can I call this a tea break?) Compliment to you, Kininvie, not psychological flaw or procrastination….

  6. Flooded borders and a raging torrent – your experience of gardening is so different to mine that I find it fascinating. I envy you your constant green, but probably not your flooding and mud (although in late summer I may even change my mind about that – our forecasts are for an exceptionally hot and dry season this year).

    • Well, good luck with your summer, Lyn. I think I’d find a climate as dry as yours very hard to live with. Somewhere on the planet there must be the perfect compromise…

  7. Goodness that makes my soggy lawn look positively wonderful. I like Colchicums and I quite like their large leaves. I am thinking of trying some growing through vinca, I think Beth Chatto takes that approach.

    • They grow through (or under) most stuff, I find. Hostas are good – the colchicum leaves arrive before the hostagets going – then once the hosta has finished for the year, cut it back and there are the colchicum buds!

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