This is Summer. This is June.

This is Summer! This is June!

As soon as I settled my new plants in the garden the heavens opened. On June 10th, torrential rain converted the Raebrook to a rushing torrent. Overnight it overflowed, swept under the footbridge and immersed our bottom lawn and its bordering flower beds in a swirl of muddy water.

The floor of our new potting shed, although erected higher than its predecessor, was inches deep in water – and still it rained.The current was so strong that our kingfisher perch was moved out of sight and we will have to venture through the remaining bog to locate and return it to its carefully chosen place. The footpath that separates our main garden from the river garden was awash and the the brook was pouring over the brook so rapidly that I was glad of the handrails to keep me on my feet.


Ten days later we managed to mow the grass although mud and silt clogged up the mower after each short run. Plants were bedraggled, their leaves coated in silt that no amount of spraying could dislodge. There will be casualties I’m sure and many will have to be moved farther up the garden.

I wanted a river garden and am still glad to have it, but this, the third flood since we moved, in was the worst, we are told, for many years. So plans for how to manage the garden have to be reviewed. All thoughts of constructing a pond are abandoned and we have to learn to accommodate an area that changes from a lake to rock hard clay in high summer.

Mud left behind on the step down to the brook gave us proof positive of the fact that otters visit our garden. We know that they use the brook because of the spraints they leave on a rock under the bridge – but it is good to know that they come ashore in the garden too. I think we must be among a very small group of people who have had otters making use of our gardens in two very different locations. On Islay we had regular sightings but here, with so little water visible from the house, it’s unlikely that we will ever have a sighting. Still, it’s good to know they’re about and perhaps we’ll install a camera to prove it.

Despite the wet garden we had a pair of Scarlet Tiger moths mating on the path near the house.