No, not so much me, though I am certainly under the weather. But the village was certainly damaged and bedraggled after the storm surge of 5th December. The combination of low pressure, spring tides, and a wind in exactly the wrong direction combined to cause tremendous damage in various locations around the coast of the UK. In Lincolnshire houses slid into the sea when the waves undercut the fragile cliffs they sat on, which must have been devastating. On the North Wales coast not far from here people had to be rescued from their flooded houses. We didn’t actually expect it to hit us here, the wind wasn’t actually forecast to be that bad, and wasn’t in the wrong direction. Or so we thought. Imagine our surprise when we strolled down the hill towards the beach for a little walk to find that the road had disappeared under the waves! Well, see for yourselves:
We were lucky, nobody needed rescuing, and although one house was inundated by the sea (the one on the corner right by the beach in the photos above), it was only really the small boats on the harbour beach that got damaged. Sadly that included ours. Oh, and it turns out that the sturdy sea defense wall along the big beach wasn’t quite as sturdy as it needed to be. Here are some images of the aftermath:
Our boat trailer is fit only for the scrapheap, but we are still hoping that the boat will be patchable, at least enough to allow us to take it out under motor. We are still waiting to hear from the insurance company. Whatever happens, we didn’t lose our house…
So what with that, and getting a bug afterwards, it feels as if December has slipped through my fingers without me even noticing. And it all started well, Cathy from Rambling in the Garden visited with her Golfer (they are excellent company), our kitchen floor was finally relayed after the whole pipe condensation debacle (bamboo is so much kinder to cold feet than concrete), and I had Plans. I was going to extend a border in the back garden to give me room to plant miscanthus and some exciting perennials. I was going to finish edging the borders in the back garden and plan the log store with green roof that I intend to replace the fence that blew down with. And I was going to move lots of plants around. I love gardening at this time of year, the structure of the garden is laid bare, everything feels more relaxed because plants are, in general, slowing down and not demanding much in the way of attention. There is Christmas to look forward to. So I was distinctly dischuffed to be laid low. Bah.
Which I suppose is where the defiance comes in. So I dragged my sorry behind out the other day and planted Puschkinia libanotica (Russian snowdrops) under the amelanchier with some bugle and snuggled a new hellebore with pale yellow flowers into the spring border where I should see it from the dining table in a month or two. There followed a couple of days of what I can only describe as “inclement weather”, but then today I finally got some parsley planted out in one of the raised beds, put the pak choi, mibuna and bekana seedlings in the greenhouse bed, and took a moment to get excited at the first of the euphorbia myrsinites and Selinum tenuifolium seedlings popping up. Looks as if I will have some Eryngium ‘Blue Hobbit’ plants to play with too.
So far so good. But then came the challenge.
Cathy has started a new meme, “In a Vase on Monday”. Simple enough, pick some things from the garden, put them in a vase, and take a photograph to share. The problem being that I have terrible trouble cutting flowers for the house. Even when I know the flowers will bloom better for it (sweet peas, dahlias,…). Even when, for heaven’s sake, I have deliberately grown them to pick for the house. But I really want to get my head around this, because when I do manage it I love it, and I plan to grow more flowers in the back garden next year for this very reason. Well, and to enjoy when sat out there. But that’s beside the point. I decided it was time to join in the challenge. So I went looking for flowers. I actually found quite a few, lurking here and there, mostly battered and wind-torn, lots, like the pansies, hard to envisage in a vase, or like the emerging witch hazel blooms definitely not to be cut. The mild autumn means I even found a fresh hydrangea flower and I think one of my euphorbias is trying to flower too!
I couldn’t bare to cut any of these! In the end I found some marigolds, a couple of knautia hiding out in amongst the seedheads of the rest of the plant, and sacrificed a few of the amazingly persistent anthemis flowers. Add in some crocosmia seedheads, put in an inappropriately coloured vase because it was the only one the right size, and voila, my first attempt.
I feel a lot better for having got outside and done a little pootling. Actually that’s a lie, I feel terrible, but I’m still glad I did it! And the little vase of improbable December blooms is already giving me lots of pleasure, so thank you Cathy!