When I posted my May garden update earlier this week I have to confess that I was a little bit disappointed in it’s progress and with the photos I’d managed to capture. I felt that it still wasn’t quite looking it’s best, and I was intending to head out in a few days time and try to capture some better shots. But fate had a bit of a slap around the face in store for me as a punishment for my ungratefulness, as later on that day I discovered water flooding into our garden, which quickly filled up the entire space, covering all of our plants with a layer of water.
In so many ways I recognise that compared to other victims of flooding, we are so lucky – it never showed any signs of flooding the house, which would have been disastrous. And it’s clean water – no sewage. But I have to admit that I was devastated. I’ve worked really hard to make the garden into our space – a place where we can relax with a glass of wine in the sunshine, a place where Max can potter around and play safely. I have tackled weeds, unwanted shrubs, mulched, set up raised beds, and planted hundreds of pounds worth of new plants to create the colourful space I wanted. We’d just spent hours raking the lawn, and fed it with lawn feed, as well as feeding the garden with Nematodes to tackle any slugs.
All of that work now looks to be wasted. Our raised bed was pretty much floating at one end, and half of the soil from it has washed away. The onions and potatoes that I was growing will have to be thrown away as a precaution (the water appears to be clean, but you never know), and as my planting preference is for more mediterranean style plants, I’m not hopeful about how well they’ll survive having been submerged for a day.
The water has mostly now drained away – we just have a few pools now on the back lawn – and I’ve spent the last day or so reading about how to restore a garden after a flood. Apparently all hope is not lost, and many of the plants might be unaffected. But there is not much hope for lots of the drought resistant plants that I’d put in recently – Sea Holly, Echinops, Lavender; I don’t see any of those making it to be honest.
I feel like we’re back at square one. We’ll need to treat the soil with a good fertiliser to restore all the nutrients that have been washed away – there are lots of worms just floating about which have clearly drowned, so it’s going to take a long time for the soil to get back to normal.
But we’ve been here before. This time last year we had a big pit of rubble in the middle of the garden and the whole of the back section was an unruly mess. As things are drying out it’s not looking as bad as I’d first anticipated. We can do it – and it’s bound to take less time to recover than I think it will right now. I’m thinking of buying a few ready made borders as a quick fix to inject some life back into the garden, and perhaps it’ll give me a chance to rethink some of my design ideas.
Here’s to a summer of gardening work!