The recent flooding has wreaked havoc in gardens in the North of England with trees, shrubs and garden features washed away after Yorkshire, Lancashire and north Wales experienced a month’s worth of rainfall in just a few days.
Among the casualties were a garden which collapsed into the River Irwell when it burst its banks in the Lancashire town of Rawtenstall, and the 10-acre Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens on Anglesey, a 200-year-old historic walled garden where a wall and many rare plants were swept away on a ‘tidal wave’ of flood water. Owner Anthony Tavernor had been restoring the garden for 20 years.
With December on track to be the wettest on record in many areas, gardens are taking the brunt with waterlogging and flooding troubles afflicting plants. The RHS advises gardeners to stay off the soil until it is workable, then once the waters recede remove dead or damaged shoots. In the veg garden, dig up and throw out root crops which may have been made unsafe to eat by contaminated flood water as well as any plants which will be eaten raw, such as lettuce. Then encourage plants into growth with a slow-release fertiliser, a generous mulch and a foliar feed of liquid seaweed in spring.