Charlotte, Gardening, Guest Posts

Stormy Weather

After weeks of glorious sunshine, my garden was blooming and the vegetables I had started from seed were all progressing better than anticipated. So much so that I had bravely put many of them outside to harden off before being transplanted. What a mistake! One night last week the weather took a turn for the worse and my once beautiful garden has suffered dearly.

Charlotte Working on the TrellisHeavy rain and gusting winds rattled the windows as I tried to sleep. ‘Tried’ being the operative word since little sleep was achieved as I imagined the havoc being created outside. I awoke early and ventured outdoors to assess the damage. Roses had been ripped from their trellises, colourful borders flattened and the stunning hollyhocks which had formerly towered over me, now stood limply at right angles.

Charlotte's husband helping with the branches I hastily got to work tidying up and repairing what I could. I carefully teased the roses back onto their trellis; trying not to damage the plentiful flowers and buds. Supports were provided for the hollyhocks and stakes added to the young fruit trees which looked at risk of snapping. I enlisted the help of my husband for this task. Being almost a foot taller than me he comes in rather useful for such vertically challenging chores.

Most upsetting was the destruction endured by my precious vegetable seedlings. Those placed in the open air to harden off, had been tossed around the garden by the unforgiving winds. Even those which I thought were protected inside a growing frame were not spared. The entire frame had been blown over, leaving young tomatoes, peppers and sweet peas upturned.

I re-potted what I could; scooping up the spilled compost and carefully replacing the young plants. It was then I noticed the sweetcorn. It’s the first time I’ve grown this and the quick and steady growth had impressed me. However they now stood sadly, many with broken leaves and stems. It felt as though the months of hard work and love I had poured into the garden had been destroyed overnight.
Charlotte's Plants
Having fixed what I could I retreated indoors for a cuppa whilst surveying my seed collection. Thankfully, I had reserved a few of each seed type when initially planting. Undeterred I spent the afternoon planting second batches as a backup for those which may have been lost. It’s rather late in the season to be starting many of them off. However, living in the south-east, I’m hoping the warmer and longer summer we (usually!) encounter will allow me to see a harvest from most crops. That is, if the rain and wind ever make way for more sun.

I haven’t given up on the sweetcorn though. The injured specimens have been brought indoors for some TLC. Perhaps they will find the strength to recover and produce new shoots. Any advice on how I can aid this would be gratefully received. I was so looking forward to serving my family delicious home grown corn on the cob, dripping with butter. I can almost taste it now… fingers crossed they pull through and make it to the table.

– Charlotte


  1. Victoria Erlanger

    My first batch of sweetcorn failed to germinate although in the greenhouse. I put this down to lack of sunlight, but the second sowing soon caught up. I find this is often the case – plants have it in them to survive and reproduce in their natural season. There may not be such a big crop, but be patient, they might surprise you yet.

    1. Charlotte Holdway

      Thanks Victoria

      The first batch of corn made a suprising recovery, sprouting new shoots. The second lot germinated quickly and soon caught uo with the others. Planted alonside each other in the veg patch there’s now hardly any difference in the progress of the two batches. I remain hopefull there will be s crop of some sort!

      1. Victoria Erlanger

        As we had summer yesterday, I planted out my corn, where I’d had to pull out the poor struggling peas. They are getting well watered today, of course. How are your other crops coping? I find many are affected by low light levels. ‘S.A.D.’ for plants and sad for me! We can still hope for an Indian summer.

  2. My peas are doing suprisingly well considering they were planted pretty late. Biggest disappointment has been the turnips which had to be pulled up today and layed to rest in the compost bin. They had plentiful growth on top but weren’t developing below ground. Too much rain and not enough light; definitely victims of S.A.D! Was reassured to see Monty Don pulling up and resowing his carrots this week on Gardener’s World; Shows that even the professionals are struggling under this year’s conditions!

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