Katie’s Wake

Storm Katie particularly selected our corner of Hampshire to belabour throughout the night with winds of up to 105 m.p.h. Having heeded the forecast our intrepid Head Gardener brought down many of her pots and protected other parts of the garden. Nevertheless, tears sprang to her eyes when she witnessed the devastation this morning.

Cold frames blown down

The cold frames built last autumn had been smashed to pieces and scattered around the side and front of the house.

Daffodils blown down

One pot of daffodils had been blown from its perch on the front Gardener’s Rest.

Arch blown down 2Arch blown down 1

Two arches have been uprooted;

Broken lamp

that in the front has destroyed a solar lamp.

Broken pot 1

Other breakages include plant pots that can no doubt be replaced from Efford Recycling Centre.

Chairs blown down


Plant stand blown down

and planters also took a dive.

The wind continued throughout the day, and rain interrupted the sunshine, so we decided to defer the recovery process until tomorrow, and drive out to see how the forest had fared.

Fallen tree 1StumpStump and fallen tree

This scene near Bolderwood demonstrated that the recent falls of forest giants will eventually merge into the landscape, just as their ancestors have done. Perhaps this rotting stump had been shattered by a wind as strong as that which had ripped the trunk off its neighbour.

Fallen tree 2Fallen tree 3

Fallen tree 5Fallen tree 4

Many otherΒ such corpses, recent, and ancient, litter the terrain.

Fallen tree clearance

The last of these trees had been cleared from the road that it had crossed.

Traffic on road

Variable traffic,

Runner on road

and a cheerful runner who had just seen a wonderful rainbow, enjoyed the bright light once the rain had stopped pelting down.

Donkeys 2

In Newtown, near Minstead, the dappled coats of donkeys blended with the sunlit tarmac.

Donkeys 1

When living there, we had watched the house in the centre of this picture being built.

Donkey baby

These two had left their basking baby while they wandered off.

Donkeys 3

Further on, we were obliged to stop and watch another trio able across the road they own.

Shattered tree

I have often photographed this tree, when whole, on Seamans Corner green;

Fallen branch

or this scene, further down the road, before Katie struck.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s choice chilli con carne and savoury rice. I drank more of the madiran, and The Cook didn’t.


  1. Oh Derrick and Jackie, I’m so sorry to seethe destruction – amazing strength winds have. All the time and effort you guys put into your amazing garden, here’s hoping that in no time she’ll be back to bringing you nothing but cheerful happiness.

  2. Devastating! I have read the news, so very sorry. We had a windy day yesterday, I was struggling to get out of my car in the morning, but it wasn’t anything close to what you have got. So sorry for the lost lives.

  3. How lucky that you brought down some pots and protected parts of the garden. So sad to see fallen trees. Here’s to wishing you a speedy repair of your garden. Sometimes new energies breathe a different kind of life into gardens. Lovely drive in the countryside and beautiful pictures as always despite the devastation

  4. I am so sorry about your damaged garden and all the love in it that got whipped by the storm. I so hope your haven will recover soon. The scenes of devastation near you are amazing. We missed it here.Take care X

  5. Sounds like a hurricane. So sorry for the damage. Glad that the house and you and Jackie are intact! I wonder where the ponies hide out in storms like that?

  6. Such a mess. Sorry about your garden, sounds like it was a particularly nasty storm. Take care and good luck with the clean up.

  7. Thankfully no major damage to the garden, nor to yourselves or the house – but I felt Jackie’s pain!! We too have had some major wind strikes recently that have torn up old trees. It’s awful to see. On the plus side there will have to be several trips to the dump now to retrieve some useful items πŸ™‚

  8. So very sorry to read about the destruction in your garden. Knowing how much work goes into building and maintaining a garden, I winced when I looked at your pictures. There! Let’s hope the weather has gotten that of its system and the rest of the season will be calm.

  9. Ah, Jackie, I’m so sorry! All your lovely work. I do hope most of the damage is salvageable. All we sustained here in Surrey was a couple of wonky fence panels. You definitely caught the worst of Storm Kate.?

  10. When I read your title I thought someone died but it was a different kind of wake…I feel for you. So much work there to restore the garden before the main event. I’m sure that any changes you make will be for the better, and you do have those photographs to make the story of your garden more interesting.

  11. There is definitely more evidence that the weather is becoming more extreme. In Oz we have had some of the hottest days and strongest storms for many years.
    By the way I haven’t been getting notifications of your posts lately so I have hit the follow button again; I hope that fixes things.

  12. So sad for Jackie about the damage done.I hope it can all be repaired without too much expense and labour. The baby donkey is so cute. i hope his parents came back for him. πŸ™‚

  13. Oh, I’m so sorry, Derrick and Jackie. So much destruction, but I’m happy you both are okay. I have faith that the two of you will restore the garden to its original beauty.

  14. Woof; we had a few trees down here too. I recall 1987 and my dad certain he must have lost his chimney. When it was there in the morning he almost believed in divine intervention.Hope the clean up isn’t too painful.

  15. Heartbreaking for sure. Nothing like nature to keep everyone on their toes!!
    Those Donkeys are just delightful, what a hoot!
    Best wishes for the clean up and restoration work.

  16. Such a sad setback Derrick, I know how much you love your garden and the pleasures it brings, try to look at it as a minor setback by Mother Nature, your pleasures will return as well as your enthusiasm.
    Keep smiling Mate.

    1. The strongest gust in the whole country was recorded on The Needles (an image familiar to all who follow this post) the night of 26th into 27th. So that’s how near it was.

  17. I was so sorry to see all the hard work you both did come to a crushing mess, especially cold frames, shelves and broken pots, Derrick. πŸ™ Tell Jackie I am sorry about this disaster.
    I hope getting out in nature calmed your spirits. Trees that fall usually were dying anyway, cycle of life. I liked the donkeys, especially sweet baby soaking in the sunshine!

  18. Bad girl Katie πŸ™ She destroyed your work. I read about this storm which brings violent start to Easter, as newspapers wrote.
    I hope you are OK, because I know you will work hard and will re-build the garden.
    Say “Hello” to Jackie!

  19. Where’s Michael Fish when you need him? He would have provided the calm before the storm!
    I do hope you can get things back to normal soon, Derrick. It’s awful after all the work you’ve both done in your garden.

  20. Trees being blown down are part of the natural cycle. It’s a pity they don’t leave more of them in situ so that woodpeckers and nuthatches could increase in number. Are the donkeys somebody’s pets or are they semi-wild like the horses? A lovely picture to capture their camouflage!

    1. Thanks, John. Like those of the ponies, the donkeys, pigs, and cattle owners have grazing rights, and let their animals roam. It is now illegal to remove fallen trees, except, I blieve, for some that are sold.

  21. Oh my goodness!!! All that WORK – and those poor trees! I hope it’s not too discouraging, getting things in the garden back in order.
    I did love to see how calm all the animals seemed…

  22. After all the hard work you two put into the garden!! Mother Nature makes her own rules I suppose. I certainly hope it will not take too much of an effort and cost to repair the damage.

  23. So sorry to hear about the damage to the garden Derrick, I know how devastating it can be after so much tender care and hard work. Please pass along my condolences to the Head Gardener. <3

  24. You caught it far worse than even we did, only 30 miles or so up the road. Can understand Jackie’s frustration (perhaps come Cointreau in her coffee when she visits later today will put things into perspective, or at least make her forget about it!!) A bit like Efford [“definitely not”-]dump, we may have some acrylic panels that may replace those damaged in the greenhouse.
    Glad neither of you two were an the worse for wear.

  25. I am really sorry to see the damage done by Katy! I saw what she was up to. We missed it here in Ireland but i see we are getting rain on Friday that will bypass you which might make you feel better!

  26. Good heavens what a storm! I am so pleased that you and Jackie were able to bring some things inside before the destruction. Now that you’ve had all summer, I imagine the damage is long recovered. So glad you didn’t have any injuries or major damage to property.

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