The storm a week ago swept through my London garden with ferocious winds and it rained buckets for about 18 hours. I had prepared my garden for the storm, but you can’t really plan for any possible event, no one knew where the storm would hit hardest. It turned out I was lucky. I had put all my pots on the ground and had lied down the magnolia growing in a container, and hoped for the best. It went better than I had hoped.
After a busy week I was itching to get out this week-end to start clearing up, there were leaves everywhere and some plants were completely flattened. The peonies got an early trip to the compost bin but that’s no disaster, they were heading there soon anyway. I thought the enormous sunflowers I have been writing about all summer were beyond rescue too, they were just a tangled mess of broken branches, but after clearing away what couldn’t be salvaged it turned out one stem is still standing – for now, with a lot of help. The rest of the plants managed pretty well, just a few broken branches here and there.
The main bed on the right side is very empty at the moment, with the huge peony cleared away. Soon the daylilies will be gone too. But in no time this bed will be filled to the rim again with snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, alliums, tulips and irises.
Speaking of irises, they are already on their way up! They won’t flower until next spring, but the leaves are well out of ground.
Most of the flowers simply blew away, the rose bushes are bare, with just new buds left, and most of the fuchsia flowers ended up on the ground. But this pretty ballerina kept its flowers through the storm. Tough little plant – with huge flowers. This is 'Bella Rosella' in fading, late evening light, looking much bluer than it actually is.
And surprisingly, most of the dahlias survived, even this tall one with striking colours, I have waited a long time to see this flower, after having to cut the plant down to the ground because of spider mites. Now it is flowering, finally!
Dahlia 'Striped Vulcan'
In October a year ago I got a Chrysanthemum as a present for my birthday, this is a picture of it back then. I love Chrysanthemums and used to have several, but they grew very large and I finally dug them up to make room for other plants. This one was just a small pot plant and I kept it in the pot after it was finished flowering. It stood on my nursery shelf through the winter and in the spring I gave it a much bigger pot and some slow-release fertiliser.
Here is the Chrysanthemum 2 weeks ago, just about to open its flowers. Look at the size of it!
The colour of the buds were almost identical to the dahlias growing next to it, a happy coincidence!
I have plants in flower every week of the year in my garden, some flowers for months on end, some just for a short time and then I have to wait a whole year till next time. The chrysanthemum was definitely worth the wait. I’d love to have a few more, perhaps one of the more unusual looking, there certainly are many to choose from, in all colours and shapes, only space in my garden stops me from getting loads of them! Until next time, take care.