Dealing with the aftermath

My recent Kildare Post column, which you can find below, dealt with dealing with the aftermath of Storm Rachel. While my own garden escaped with minimal damage from the high winds the rest of the country was not as lucky and with more wind and heavy rain promised for the coming weeks I felt it was a good time to share this article.

Dealing With The Aftermath

Now that the extreme conditions that storm Rachel battered our gardens with is behind us attention will have to turn to our gardens and dealing with the aftermath of the harsh winds.
During the storm fallen trees seemed to litter every second road around Kildare. In my own garden there are two extremely mature tree which alway have a watchful eye cast over them during stormy weather. Luckily they escaped with only very minor damage just a few branches down.


The majority of the fallen branches were brought inside for the fire but a few very long slender branches were kept outside to construct climbing frames for peas and runner beans in the coming months. I always find it a good practice to leave some broken branches in the garden, tidied up slightly of course, to break down and return nutirents to the soil or to make building materials for garden inhabitants.

It is always important after a storm, once it is safe to do so, to go out to in to the garden and survey any damage that has occurred and deal with it promptly. Be it pruning and reattaching climbing plants to walls and trellises or pruning back damaged shrubs, it is important to take care of these jobs straight away. When it comes to broken limbs on tree or more serious damage to trees I always recommend calling in an expert as you could unintentionally do more damage to the tree when you are trying to do good.

Some of the most widespread damage in gardens last week had to be to terracotta and delph pots. While it can be heart breaking to see a favourite pot broken in to pieces there are a few things it can still be used for. The pot can be broken up more and used as drainage in new pots during the year. Alternatively you can get creative similar to this idea from Huntington Brook Gardens this summer. With a bit of imagination and some smart plant selection you can make an interesting focal point on a patio or within a flower bed.

An edited version of the above article appeared in print in the Kildare Post