24 May 2011


Scunnered, if you haven't heard the phrase, is a Scots word meaning: "fed up, annoyed, hacked off"

And the reason for that is that yesterday the country was hammered by winds up to 100mph and the destruction is just... Depressing...

Loss of life was minimal, and that's the main thing, and my heart goes out to the good people of Missouri who have been so badly affected by tornados :-(

Yesterday on the way home a lorry overturned in front of me on the motorway, causing major delays which were compounded as the storm blew trees over and closed main arterial road, rail, and air routes in the country.

A lucky break (in the guise of a heavily pregnant woman driving the car behind me on the motorway which persuaded the police to get her, and consequently me, out and on our way) allowed me to get home many hours before the poor people stuck on the road behind us. When I opened the gate though I was met, rather violently, by the greenhouse, which had torn off its chains tying it to the fence, and lifted it bodily away from the bags of earth weighing it down. The polythene cover and light frame effectively acted as a sail, and before I cut off the cover, I was borne aloft a few times and battered around the garden by the greenhouse. All the plastic pots were flying like confetti around the garden and the car park, and worst of all, the seedlings I'd been nurturing were flung out and ruined.

I still haven't found them.

I managed to locate a flat tray I'd left some aster seedlings as a stand-by, and miraculously about 4 of them are all right. I found two courgette seedlings in the hedge, so they're now back in intensive care in the house. The pea seedlings are just - well, they could be in Norway for all I know. The tomatoes are now exposed to the elements (and they are not happy). My poor, beautiful delphiniums are snapped, and my acer, oh, the poor dear, lost a branch, her second in the space of 6 months :-(

All the pots are now in the house, the greenhouse cover is in the cloakroom, the seed trays in the hall.

The hens though, are fine. Traumatised and outraged at the missiles that flew their way, but they're okay. And that is obviously the main concern when dealing with garden damage.

It's all just so... demoralising. All that work and hope just obliterated in a few hours. I've said earlier that it's a mistake I do make is seeing where my plants *should* be instead of where they are realistically going to be based on where I live. It might be pea harvesting season in the south of England but up here, they're inch high seedlings and unlikely to crop for another couple of months yet.

But stuff like this storm and the continuing windy and cold spell does highlight the brevity of the growing season here and concentrate the mind as to what can be grown.

On the plus side, we nipped to the Allotment and the shed is still standing, and all our little fleece/mesh tunnels, so that's something.

We are going to abandon the greenhouse - not the concept, but the polythene one. This is the third year running that we have had seedlings destroyed, so I am now looking at something like a tall cold frame, which is wood and plastic, and hopefully more weighty and sturdy. I really just want something to harden seedlings out and to grow tomatoes in, so it should be okay, but I will have to either rationalise my plastic pot collection or... No, rationalisation it will have to be.

Oh well, them's the breaks I suppose when you garden, no matter where in the world you happen to be. It's successes and setbacks and the thing is to remember the successes and allow them to outweigh the setbacks.

In other words, take a deep breath, onwards. and upwards.


  1. Oh, my goodness what a time you are having. I do feel for you. I can totally understand your frustration.
    You have just got to pretend it has not happeneed and press on. Despite all this dreadfulness, you tell an amusing tale. It is not in the least amusing, but you told it with such feeling and your courage made me smile.
    Thanks for telling. I wish you well and send some sunshine....it's rather cloudy down here this week. My allotment is fine; fow now. Last year we got very late hail stones which punched holes into all the leaves and knocked my broadbeans over.
    Did you see RHS Chelsea on TV yesterday. Cleve West, one of my favourite designers has a show garden and in it he has a parsnip plant from last year, just going over to seed; he found it on his allotment. It's in his Chelsea show garden; I think he got a gold last year. Well, I have the same plant on my plot which is so magnificent, I'm keeping it...now I have a buddy who also loves this regal, gold seeded umbel!!!
    Keep your chin up. Last time I commented, I envied your snow; I don't envy the wind.
    Keep us posted and take care!
    Sue xxx

  2. Do excuse all the typing errors above!
    Sue xx


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