I blame Imogen.

Imogen is the name of the latest storm to hit the UK, she came rushing across the Atlantic on Friday night and hit the west coast and dumped so much rain on top of us when she met land. Once again the west coast is flooded, the weekend had non stop rain for 2 days with accompanying gales. Going to the next town this morning, I had to make 2 detours because of fallen trees.

Cherubeer garden.

Snowdrops at Cherubeer garden.

Not the ideal time for garden visiting, but yesterday was the only chance we would get as the garden is only open one other Sunday and I think the snowdrops would be over by then as they are a few weeks ahead of their usual flowering time.

Cherubeer Garden

Snowdrops and hellebores at Cherubeer Garden

We saw thousands of snowdrops and hundreds of hellebores. Because of the weather, all the snowdrops were tightly shut, so trying to see all the different varieties was impossible.

Cherubeer garden

Snowdrops at Cherubeer garden

I would normally choose the best photos to show you, but as you will see, Imogen was against me!

Hellebores at Cherubeer

Hellebores at Cherubeer

But I noticed that the hellebore leaves hadn’t been removed, mind you it would be such a big job as she has so many.

Snowdrops and hellebores at Cherubeer.

Snowdrops and hellebores at Cherubeer.

This is when I had to change the batteries in the camera and I think Imogen sneaked into it via some raindrops, as the next dozen photos are missing.

Willow walk.

Willow walk.

Why this photo is here, we don’t know because the next dozen are missing too. But as soon as we turned the corner, it was Wow! Fantastic! We loved the willow walk with all it’s winter plants, unfortunately I can’t show you all the witch hazels and early rhododendrons along with hundreds of snowdrops, hellebores and cyclamen coum. I was really impressed with this bit of the garden and am wondering where I can put a willow hedge! After taking loads more photos that have vanished, it was time to come home, the rain was getting heavier all the time.

Flooding at Clyst St. Mary.

Flooding at Clyst St. Mary.

Coming home we saw that the River Clyst by the M5 has burst its banks again, swollen by all the rain, this is normally farmland.



These were the last photos I took, maybe the camera dried out on the way home, it’s all I can think of. I’ll get in touch  with our son and see if he can work a miracle and restore the other photos, if so, I’ll do another post, if he can’t then we’ll have to go back next year! Imogen was certainly responsible for a lot this weekend!

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32 Responses to I blame Imogen.

  1. Sally says:

    Hi Pauline,
    You are a brave and dedicated soul! All I would need to hear is flooding and I would be inside with a hot drink pouring over pictures of gardens past! Wait….that’s exactly what I’m doing! LOL Actually, in my defense, we are in the middle of another blizzard. The prediction is for another 12″ of the white stuff……So much for an early Spring! BTW, the willow walk is lovely. It must be amazing when the willows leaf out.

    • Pauline says:

      Life has to go on Sally, no matter what the weather! So far we haven’t had any snow down here in the SW corner of the UK, it has been ridiculously mild for the time of year, hopefully your snow will vanish soon.
      It was the bright colours of the winter stems that caught my eye in the garden we visited, I would imagine the two borders will be very shady when they are in leaf. I have been wondering where we could put something similar and I think I have found a spot, just watch this space!

  2. rusty duck says:

    I love those pollarded willows, they remind me of olympic torches. I wonder how it’s done and also where I could put some. Sorry to hear about the photographs, at least the camera is working again.

    • Pauline says:

      The willows are fantastic aren’t they Jessica, a real “Wow” moment when I first saw them! I have a couple that will need pollarding soon so will try to root the stems that I cut off.
      I’m so pleased that the camera seems ok once more, I would be lost without it, but feel so frustrated to have lost most of the photos. I felt the willow walk was the highlight of the garden and wish I could have shown you more of it.

  3. Whenever I hear about people losing photos, a big hole appears in my stomach. I lost about a thousand or more photos a few years ago when my external hard drive crashed. I now back up frequently but am still paranoid about the possibility of losing images. Still, the photos that weren’t lost give a good sense of the garden. The flame burst from the pollarded willows is amazing.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment Pat, how awful to lose so many photos! The fault here though was with the camera I think, raindrops getting in while changing the batteries, thank goodness it is working properly now.
      I thought the part of the garden with the willows was certainly the best bit, I took so many photos of the double line of trees, it was really amazing!

  4. Denise says:

    Such a pity the snowdrops were closed, but I can’t say I blame them in that weather. The willow walk really is stunning and as you say Pauline, one starts to think where could I put it! Maybe the RHS February magazine on willows, colour and catkins is a good place to start planning.

    • Pauline says:

      The willows were fantastic Denise, I thought the best part of the garden. I do have a couple of willows which I pollard each year, so I’m thinking of what I can do with all the stems, I’m sure I can root them!
      Yes, the RHS article about willows should give me lots of ideas!

  5. Christina says:

    How sad that you lost so many photographs Pauline, it feels like they’ve been stolen from you doesn’t it? I love the willow walk, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them pruned in that way; it might be a bit wayward in summer but worth it for how they look in winter. I hope your son can work his magic.

    • Pauline says:

      The undergardener has promised to go back next year Christina, if our son can’t do anything with the missing photos, I have a feeling they are gone for ever. That will teach me to check each one after I’ve taken it!!
      The willow walk was the highlight of the garden for me, the rest was too much like my own garden! The willows were in two lines, one each side of the grass path, and at the right hand side, not on the photo that is there, the trunks have been woven into a trellis pattern, I was very impressed!

  6. Kate Patel says:

    I love the amazing willows too, I’ve not seen them like this before, stooled or is it pollarded (or both)? I hope your images turn up, you deserve them to as a momento of braving Imogen’s wrath.

    • Pauline says:

      I think in this case the willows are pollarded as they are cut back to a trunk Kate, they made such an imposing feature on that part of the garden.
      Imogen was a pain at times, but we were dressed for the worst of the weather so it didn’t matter too much, apart from raindrops getting in the camera!

  7. Chloris says:

    Coloured willow stems are wonderful in winter, what a great way to pollard them. Hmm, maybe, you’ ve given us all some ideas.
    Thank goodness Imogen has died down she kept me indoors yesterday, I’ m not as hardy as you.

    • Pauline says:

      I can see us all having a go with pollarded willow Chloris! I always seem to get inspiration each time I go garden visiting, some come to fruition, some go by the wayside, I wonder what will happen to the willow?

  8. Wendy says:

    The hellebores and snowdrops look beautiful, and the willow hedge has an amazing structure. I’m sorry to hear about your other photos. I’m so glad the storm is over. We didn’t have flooding here, like you obviously did, but it did blow out two panes in my greenhouse!

    • Pauline says:

      To lose two panes in your greenhouse is serious Wendy, we didn’t have any actual damage at home, thank goodness, I’m glad she has passed on.
      We did enjoy the garden, in spite of the wind and rain, the willow structure was so amazing and made such an impression on me.

  9. AnnetteM says:

    Those willows are fantastic. So glad you didn’t lost that photo. Maybe the others will be ok when the camera has dried properly? I am wondering if you have two memory cards and maybe dislodged one when you changed the battery. I know some cards are in the same area. I do hope you can retrieve them.

  10. Well I guess that answers my question as to whether you are getting all the rain in your area that I keep hearing about. I have seen this garden before and think the willow walk is fabulous. Good luck with your camera.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Carolyn, we are certainly getting all the rain that comes from your side of the Atlantic, it is poring down yet again today!
      The willow walk was amazing, definitely the centre piece of the garden as far as I’m concerned.

  11. Cathy says:

    What a shame that all other photos have disappeared, and a shame you had such poor weather on one of the few days this garden was open as it is clearly a wonderful place to visit at this time of year. Flooding here too, but the rain must have been further upstream as it has not been especially wet here.
    ps the las email alert must have been a one-off as I haven’t had one since but they are going to the Golfer OK… no rhyme or reason at all! 😉

    • Pauline says:

      I have a feeling the photos are gone for good Cathy, we’ll just have to go back next year to photograph the willow walk as it really was stunning, the best bit of the garden!
      Sorry we are still having problems, but glad you are getting e.mails even though they are coming via the golfer!

  12. Sue C. says:

    I really feel for you losing photographs – I hope you are able to recover them. The garden you visited has some lovely features – and having seen their snowdrops and the ones in your woodland area I’ve just ordered some more in-the-green to add to my shady borders and just-being-developed woodland area. The willows are fabulous – there are plenty around here on the Levels, although not so colourful as the ones you photographed. Now I wonder where I could fit one or two of those in…….

    • Pauline says:

      I think I’m going to have to do a bit of research as to which variety of willow was used in the garden Sue, not the usual willow which I have here which has stems which are more yellow, these really looked like flames.
      So pleased you are developing a woodland area, mine is my favourite part of the garden here, it is so interesting for the first half of the year with all the interesting plants that grow before the leaves come on the trees.

  13. Jennifer says:

    We have yet to be hit by any winter storms (knock wood). The flooding in your pictures is quite something. I am glad that your were able to see the snowdrops even if they were tightly closed. The hellebores in this garden were quite lovely too. I hope you are able to recover the missing photos!

    • Pauline says:

      The flooding is getting worse and worse Jennifer, the rain keeps coming and the whole garden is now like a bog, hopefully we will dry out soon!
      Snowdrops and hellebores are coping with the rain so far, I’m not sure about the other plants though.
      I have a feeling that my photos are gone for ever, but that means I can go back next year!

  14. Anna says:

    Oh that looks like a magical garden Pauline. What a shame that the weather gods had a real strop on them that day. You will just have to make a return journey twelve months hence. I was wondering what the pollarded willows reminded me and then read Jessica’s comment which was the perfect description!

    • Pauline says:

      It was a super garden Anna, with a wonderful focal point. I agree, they look like lots of Olympic torches, a very good description! We have actually had a day without rain today, a bit of sun but an icy wind, hopefully the garden will dry out a bit if we can have a few more rainless days!

  15. debsgarden says:

    Despite Imogen, the snowdrops and hellebores were lovely! Great gardens always seem to have things planted in mass. The effect is always breathtaking. I also love the willow walk.

    • Pauline says:

      It was good to see so many lovely snowdrops and hellebores, I think the lady has over 300 different varieties of snowdrops! I felt the willow walk was so unusual, unlike anything I had seen in other gardens and something else that would look good for all the winter months.

  16. Peter/Outlaw says:

    How frustrating to loose so many pictures of this special garden which looks wonderful. That darned Imogen!

    • Pauline says:

      It was frustrating at the time Peter, but at least it means I can go back next year! Imogen was responsible for a lot of damage all round the country here, the loss of my photos is nothing compared to other peoples damage.

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