Rain, Rain, and more of the same!

by John Kenahan, Goring, U.K.
Chamaerops No.47, published online 25-06-2003

- Left: Native to vast plains like this one in Corrientes, Argentina, which
occasionally experiences flooding, Butia yatay is always found on well drained and well aerated, sandy soils.
Photo: Martin Gibbons and Tobias W. Spanner
- Right: Rain, rain, rain and more of the same!
Photos: John Kenahan

Those were the circumstances that faced those of us living in the British Isles in the winter and spring of 2000/2001 and which produced the highest rainfall since records began over 300 years ago. Inevitably such conditions caused great damage and many people were forced to abandon their homes to the rising flood waters.

In this article I shall concentrate on the horticultural implications of the Deluge . . . and how it affected the garden of yours truly. This fairly small garden, which measures around 100 ft. by 50 ft., is situated on the West Sussex plain, an area that runs (roughly) from Shoreham in the east to Chichester in the west and lies south of the South Downs, a pleasant area of Downland, which I should explain for non-British readers actually means upland! "Downland", or the shorter form "Downs", when spelt with a capital "D" refers to chalk upland in southern England for they are a series of hills.

On purchasing the property in 1993, I soon removed most of the existing garden contents, which included a small vegetable patch, an even smaller "herbaceous border", and some out-of-control conifers, and gradually began planting my kind of plants, which include Rhododendrons, various "exotics", succulents and especially - wait for it - those most wonderful and essential jewels in the crown of any exotic garden - PALMS! The effect of the Great Deluge on the palms and other exotics in the garden was very interesting and informative, for in addition to the constant rain, there was also flooding over most of the garden for two days due to a drainage ditch bursting its banks because a nearby culvert had become blocked with debris, mainly consisting of twigs and leaves, but fortunately the flood water was neither contaminated by sea-water or even dirty water, which happened less than a mile away.

continued on [next page]   [top]   [index]

 

advertise
  24-04-14 - 11:42GMT
 What's New?
 New palm book
 Date: 24-05-2004

An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft.
 New: Issue 48
 Date: 24-05-2004
Chamaerops 48
has been published in the Members Area.
 Archive complete!
 Date: 03-12-2002
All Chamaerops issues can now be found in the archive: More than 350 articles are on-line!
 Issues 13 to 16
 Date: 28-08-2002
Chamaerops mags 13, 14, 15 and 16 have been added to the members area. More than 250 articles are now online!
 42 as free pdf-file
 Date: 05-08-2002
Free Download! Chamaerops No. 42 can be downloaded for free to intruduce the new layout and size to our visitors
 Issues 17 to 20
 Date: 23-07-2002
Chamaerops mags 17, 18, 19 and 20 have been added to the members area. Now 218 articles online!
 Book List
 Date: 28-05-2001
Take a look at our brand new Book List edited by Carolyn Strudwick
 New Book
 Date: 25-01-2001
'Palmen in Mitteleuropa'
by Mario Stähler
This german book tells you all about how to cultivate your palms in Central Europe. more...