Hurricane... We still have no power
Cape crusaders – the new phygelius

Hurricane, voles and the gas pipeline

Before the Hurricane. Image © (all rights reserved)
I was up on the roof, not long before Hurricane Irene raged through, adding some extra sealant around the weak spots on the skylights where the rain sometimes seeps in when we have a thunderstorm. Seemed like a wise precaution… After the storm the local weather station reported 6in/15cm of rain, just on Sunday morning, and although a few drips came through the black goo seems to have mostly done the job.

While I was up there I took a few snaps of what I could see of the garden (above, click to enlarge). It looks a little different now… judy's been out tidying up and, anyway, I haven’t the heart to show you the battered coleus (it was completely flattened) and the broken phlox – not to mention the gaps where most of the hostas used to be before the voles ate them.

Which reminds me… The pest control service that comes to give the place a prevention treatment against carpenter ants told us that we're not the only ones with dramatic vole problems. But he put it down to, what seems to me, a rather unlikely cause. There's a huge gas pipeline going in four miles away, slicing dramatically through the woods (below, click to enlarge). The pest guy says there have been so many vole problems this year because so many animals have been displaced by the project.

Can't see it myself. Is he saying that these mouse-sized creatures have plodded four miles through the woods to get to our garden? Don't think so…

OK, we'll get back to plants next time with a guest post on new Phygelius, Cape fuchsia, from Ian Hodgson who was Editor of the Royal Horticultural Society's membership magazine The Garden for 18 years and Editor-in-Chief of RHS Journals.

Gas Pipeline. Image © (all rights reserved)