Gone with the Wind

There’s a howling storm passing through the UK at the moment, Storm Ciara (as they’re named these days) it making itself known. It is causing havoc up and down the country and while the garden is used to winter storms passing through annually, it’s never been subjected to something quite like this.

The waving pine trees at the back are best if you don’t watch for too long. These are *big* trees and seeing them flex, bend and bow in the wind is rather scary. They should stay up. I’m more worried for the two young cypress trees at the front, which are rather exposed and have been growing slowly due to the difficult conditions there. They might not be as well rooted as they should be.

Looking at how the garden plants are reacting to the windy weather, I’m hopeful there’s going to be little damage from this storm, the beech and rhododendron hedges are solid as they’ve been established for the best part of 50-70 years. Herbaceous plants are underground, the climbing roses are holding down the arches and obelisks they’re trained up, deciduous plants are leafless and the wind just whistles through them.

The evergreen plants such as the cypress, bay, pittosporum and camellia are being buffeted strongly, but they’re generally OK. They seem to behave more like the bamboo at the back – bending and weaving with the wind. Thinking about it, they must have evolved limber limbs to cope with winter storms as their leaves act as sails in the wind. I can see their trunks, branches and stems bending with the wind so they avoid being snapped. It’s something I hadn’t appreciated before. The camellias, which are laden with heavy flower buds, are bending as though they were made of rubber – that perfect balance between strength and flexibility.

The urn hasn’t – and likely won’t – blow over.

The storm will be gone in a few days and I hope the garden won’t be marked for it. In the end, it will all grow back anyway and the memory of the storm will have faded as quickly as the crocuses open.


  1. Down here in Dorset we seem to have been lucky. Not too much rain and although the wind has been constant for 24+ hours, no damage in the garden. I expect when I go out and inspect closely, the silver birch will have lost a lot of it’s smaller twigs. But the surprise is always the flowering cherry, which was in the garden when we came here 17 years ago. As it was already past it’s best (20ish years seems to be the average) a few branches die every year, and whenever there is a storm I look out of the window and expect it to be down. But again, no! Escaped another year. As I look down my garden, and over the next one, I get a view of 4 old beeches. They sway but stick! And if I go outside the noise produced by their waving branches is terrific! A wonderful accompaniment to the storm. Hope your garden is all OK Sunil,


    1. Hello Mrs Mac, I’m glad you escaped lightly with little damage, we did as well. I hate the noise of a howling wind though as I always associate it with downed trees, snapped plants, tipped-over plant pots and just general garden damage. It always reminds me of mess and damage that I’ve had to clear up previously and makes me worry.


    1. Thanks, Jason, we didn’t notice anything more than an empty garden trug being blown about a bit. We have another storm coming in with rain this time but I think we’ll be fine again. The border edges might fill with water for a few days and I won’t be able to step onto the grass for a while but that might be as bad as it gets.


    1. Hello Tammy, everything’s OK as far as I can see. We’ve since had another storm (Storm Dennis) that came through and dumped a whole load of rain so that we now have a little surface water, but I think the large borders and deep roots of all the trees and shrubs that we planted are making a difference in that more water is absorbed rather than just running over the top of the garden.


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