By my reckoning, we are now 15 days into this most unsettled of spells. Can anybody remember such a widespread run of strong winds and rain? I can certainly recall many times when a handful of lows have scurried through, but not on this scale. If ever mans foolishness for building on flood plains has been exposed, then these past few days has seen to it. The idea of looking out of your window onto a picturesque riparian scene was something to aspire to - now it is one fraught with problems.
Being on chalky high ground we do not have to invest in sandbags and canoes, although the trees around here have taken a fearful battering. Our thirty-foot Lawson's Cypress has become a victim of the nagging south-south-westerly gusts. On Saturday morning I thought it looked a little odd and closer inspection revealed the soil around its base slumped, with the trunk leaning. I could see the ground moving with each gust of wind. After alerting the neighbours (this tree would kill anybody standing underneath it if it came down) I then tried to find a tree surgeon. I wasn't surprised that these people are terribly popular at the moment. I did manage to secure a 'surveying' site visit for yesterday and an appointment for felling today. It was a worrying two days, with every heavy burst of rain and gust of wind seemingly about to topple the tree - it started to lean further last night and I was convinced that I would hear its crashing demise during the night, taking with it a small summer-house, fencing and next doors garden furniture. But this morning dawned with the Cypress still upright (just) and it was with some relief that the team of tree surgeons arrived shortly after midday. They did a tremendous job, and if you need a job done in the Epsom area, then phone Bushes n Trees.
Although a Lawson's Cypress isn't the most attractive of trees, our garden is hardly large, so it is leaving a bit of a gap - we stare up the garden and are missing our pillar of evergreen. It is also a foodplant of one of my favourite moths - Blair's Shoulder-knot. I wonder if this will supress my catches of them this coming autumn?