Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oh the wind, the wind and the rain

It's a bit windy this evening.  Has been for most of the day.  Little gusts up to 70mph / 112kph.  Any plant above 6in / 15cm tall is being whipped into a frenzy unless protected by something taller.  It's an Atlantic gale, blowing straight up the South West facing corridor of gardens to the west of mine.  No trees or tall shrubs to get in the way until it hits the filter of my Phyllostachys nigra / Acca sellowiana.  They offer some protection, but not enough to prevent damage.  I've already had to take down all my hanging baskets and move some containers to a more sheltered location.

We expect gales down here.  They're a common autumn, winter, early spring occurrence.  But not in June, when everything is in full leaf to offer the maximum resistance.  So things break.  I'll probably have a fair bit of tidying up to do in the morning, the bananas will be shredded, and I may have to perform some emergency staking.  I may even photograph and report on the aftermath.

The landscapes of Devon and Cornwall is heavily influenced by the wind.  We may be in the mildest part of the UK but that's only of use to plants if they have shelter.  It's common to see hedgerow shrubs that look as though they've been sculpted, wind pruned by our prevailing westerlies.  The great gardens down here are in sheltered valleys; surrounded by extensive shelter belts - or planted up with species and varieties capable of resisting the salt laden gusts. I have non of those options.  No wonder my neighbours haven't planted anything taller than the height of their walls and fences.

And it's raining.  Horizontally.  The joys of early summer in Plymouth.


  1. We're down in Camborne and had the same horizontal gales as you. My poor newly-planted banana was decimated with the last lot of winds; had re-grown to recover it's height (about 2.5 ft!) and I just knew it was going to suffer again with this lot hoving into view. The only thing I could find short-term to shelter it was the wheelbarrow, which I propped over it, against the fence. It worked and two days later I removed it....banana unscathed! Phew!

    Trouble it, they grow so fast i won't be able to resort to that tactic if any more high winds come.... ;-(

  2. Thanks for the comment, Sue.

    Wind is the enemy for bananas. Until the recent bad winters I had a big clump in the garden, protected by neighbours trees and hedges. Ownership changed, the protection was cut down and my bananas were shredded so badly that the clump declined even before the recent winters finished them off. I'm starting again in a more sheltered spot. Trouble is it's a lot less sunny so they may not do well. Though Ensete 'Maurelli' did well there last year. Time will tell.

    One benefit of the wind is that it broke a couple of stems of my 'Graham Thomas' shrub rose in the front garden. Maria finally had a vase of roses for the house!