It’s all my fault!

OK, I will hold my hands up, I should have realised that I was tempting fate when I wrote a post called April flowers need April showers !! Since then we have had almost non stop rain, Wednesday was when Exeter was declared the wettest place in the country with a month’s rain in just one day. Each night we are treated to views of reporters standing knee deep in water, but they aren’t in a river, just standing on the flooded roads. The rivers have all burst their banks in places, these are the rivers that were so low, that a drought order was placed on the south west and apparently it will stay in place for a while yet. How has all this affected the garden – weeds are now growing furiously, and so are the plants. The pond has now filled up again, it hasn’t been so full for a long time.



Even the ditch between the garden and the woodland has running water in it, we could almost call it a stream ! The Astilbes that I have planted there will be happy now with all this moisture and the iris will romp away.

Ostrich feather fern

Ferns in the ditch and elsewhere in the garden are suddenly unfurling, making the most amazing shapes. This one, Matteuccia struthiopteris, loves all the rain, can take any amount of it, so must be very happy at the moment.

Ostrich fern

Just love the fresh greens, the fronds seem to unfurl overnight.

Ostrich feather

Obvious how it got its common name isn’t it, shuttlecock fern, so symmetrical, and so much easier to say than its Latin name!


So beautiful with the sun shining through, don’t remember the sun shining!


Another name for the curled end of the frond is fiddlehead, as they look just like the end of a violin.  They are also supposed to taste like asparagus but I think I would rather see them growing in the garden and not on my plate!!

Dryopteris felix mas

The male fern or Dryopterix filix-mas,  which is found everywhere, normally just a bog standard fern,  looks really lovely at this time of year, as it unfurls it has such lovely furry bobbles along the length of the rachis or midrib.

Shuttlecock fern

At all stages of its development, it makes such interesting shapes. The bobbles then open out into pinna which are the side leaves from the midrib.


Amazing shapes, quite a contortionist!


The rain has also encouraged the hostas to start putting out their leaves, at the moment so tightly curled up, but soon they will be showing their true colours.


Another plant that has really responded to all the rain are my Meconopsis. Each day I was looking at them to see if there were going to be any flower buds this year, until this week there wasn’t a bud to be seen, but now however, buds are everywhere – hooray! Looking at last years photos the meconopsis were in full flower in April, not this year though, May will be their month.


Another rain cloud on its way, better get in the house before I get soaked as well as the plants. I would say that the garden has certainly benefitted from all the rain we have been having, just can’t help feeling sorry for the people who have come down here for their holidays, if only we could arrange for it to rain just at night time!

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12 Responses to It’s all my fault!

  1. sorry Pauline but the begining of this post made me laugh, becareful what you wish for you might get it!

    love all your beautiful ferns and glad your garden has been watered but yes rain in mild tempretures means weeds! Frances

    • Pauline says:

      I certainly got what I wished for Frances!! At least all the water butts are now full again and the garden is looking very lush, if I look at the garden from the house without my specs, I can’t see the weeds!!

  2. wellywoman says:

    Hi Pauline, The problem is we go from one extreme to the other. It was ironic that drought was declared in the south west and then rivers put on flood alert several days later. I don’t mind the rain so much I just wish it would warm up. I’ve just been for a walk with full winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves on. Maybe I’ve got unrealistic expectations of what the weather should be like at this time of year. I’d just like to be able to ditch the layers and feel the warm sun on me. Soon, please!!! I love ferns and find them fascinating, so different from other plants and they always make me think of dense forests and dinosaurs.

    • Pauline says:

      I agree with you WW, I wish it would warm up again, it’s so cold! The rain isn’t a problem as long as we are dressed accordingly, but the garden is so soggy now that we can’t get onto most of it, have to stay on the paths for a while. Maybe now our April showers will soon be over and we will have warmer weather in May!

  3. Alberto says:

    Pauline you made me smile! I’ve also been calling for rain and then I almost regretted it! I feel sorry for the people on holiday too but if they went to Enland, I mean, they should have known they cannot count on the weather! Your garden looks good in all conditions though! I’m looking forward to seeing your meconopsis in flower (are they the ones you sow last winter waiting for frost?! I can’t believe it!) and please remember to take some pics of you peony Molly, I’d like to see it!

    • Pauline says:

      The wind joined the rain last night Alberto and we had quite a storm. One of the huge trees in our neighbours woodland was blown over, a chestnut tree, came down over the road through the village, no one hurt thank goodness. We had no electricity and were creeping around with candles before going to bed. Men worked all night and electricity was restored by 4 am.
      The meconopsis in the photo was one of my seedlings from 2 yrs ago, the seedlings I wrote about needing frost, I have just pricked them out into plug trays, all 168 of them, as yet they are very tiny and won’t flower this year, maybe next.
      Don’t worry, Molly will be photographed, thank goodness she isn’t in flower now, the gales would have torn her to shreds!

  4. Christina says:

    Lovely ferns, I love they way they unfurl. The rain, oh the rain, I wish we had more of your rain – perhaps that will work for me and then I’ll regret wanting it too as it will spoil all the roses about to bloom! I love the last image of your garden, a real haven. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      As Frances says Christina, be careful what you wish for – half of England and Wales is now under water, they say the wettest April we have had for 100 yrs! Rivers have all burst their banks and loads of trees are down in the gales, such a shame to see giants fallen across roads. Forgot to mention in the post that all my newly planted primulas are revelling in the wet!!

  5. Anna says:

    Your plants are certainly singing in the rain Pauline. Here in the north west of England we are fortunately not in drought but March was extremely dry. Although April’s rains were welcome you can have too much of a good thing and a warmer dryer spell would be greeted with open arms. Ferns are fascinating plants aren’t they – I could look at them for ages – so much intricate detail.

    • Pauline says:

      I think today is going to be dry Anna, we hope so, as more rain is forcast for tomorrow and the rest of the week.The garden is so wet now, with the pond overflowing into the bog garden and then everywhere else! Work in the garden is very limited so I will retreat into the greenhouse with my wind up radio, lots more primula seedlings to prick out. The plants have certainly enjoyed all the rain after the drought over the winter, you can almost see them growing!

  6. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Beautiful Ferns! They’re such amazing plants and every so pretty when they’re unfurling! 😀

    Mecanopsis buds?? None here 🙁 I only planted them late last year though, so I guess I’m being a bit hopeful that I’ll see blooms this year? Never had them before so I don’t really know what to expect other than happening across gardener’s world and monty telling us they need to be well watered to ensure blooming – I don’t often watch GW as I find it very, very boring and mind-numbing. But that’s a whole other discussion 🙂

    I hope the weather has improved for you more recently and you’ve managed to have a good ole potter around the garden!

    • Pauline says:

      Have just written a post about Meconopsis Liz, my plants started flowering a few days ago. Don’t worry about yours not flowering this year, they will be building up their strength for a super year, next year!
      Monty is right, they do need a lot of watering, but he planted his where his garden gets flooded in the winter and they don’t like to sit in water in the winter. In Tibet where they originate, they are covered in snow all winter, nice and dry, then in the rain clouds in summer, so cool and wet, will have to wait and see if his survive!
      Yes thank you, I am pottering, actually had lovely sunshine yesterday, back to rain today!!

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