The last few weeks we’ve had some fairly exciting storms with features like thunder, hail and horizontal snow. Sometimes at the same time. The wind kept us awake one night by rattling the watering can the length of the balcony until it clunked into the wooden railing, waiting until we’d gone to sleep, then rattling it back again. Most of the planters on the balcony seemed to survive but I knew the garden would be a different matter, so after avoiding it for a few days waiting for the weather to improve I went to see what havoc had been wrought.

There was less than I thought: it turns out that stacking very, very long pieces of wood against a rickety privvy isn’t a great idea in high winds, and that weighing cardboard mulch at the corners because I was too lazy to move the rest of the cow poo down just means that the rain soaks it then the wind shreds it and deposits it in the next garden, and large empty compost bins are surprisingly good at catching wind, but apart from that -and some wretched cat thinking that our garden is its personal toilet- all was well. As an extra bonus the rain had washed the vegetation from the path I cleared in summer leaving what looks like pure clay, which is good news for the cob building workshops, even if it does mean crampons are required to get to the bottom of the hill…

I stacked the wood again and put bricks on anything that might move in high winds, although as we’d had storms off and on for a week it was a bit late, but never mind: gardening is a learning process and I’ve now learned that ‘severe weather warning’ means what it says, and that anything loose should be weighted down straight away and not at some theoretical future date.

Still doesn’t deal with the cat problem though. I’ll experiment with bramble branches to deter them (at lest I have plenty of bramble branches to spare, do you think there’s a market for them?) If that doesn’t work, maybe I could borrow the neighbours Doberman…

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