Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Fiery Twist

Our garden blog has just taken a very unexpected twist....

Last Friday at around 2pm I received a phone call saying that the fire brigade are in our garden putting out a fire that started in one of our neighbours garden. Rushing back home, what I found, of what were once very lush and leafy parts of our garden, with a well built outbuilding and a jungle veranda, were these....

The fire started from one of the neighbours, quickly spreading to adjacent properties including ours

Eriobotrya japonica, left Fatsia polycarpa, middle and Trochodendron aralioides, right


The garden outbuilding, it was well built and insulated and despite the outside being severely burnt...
the inside was not spared from water damage, soot, and burnt smell



All our trusty electrical tools, water damaged
What was once a tall and proud Liriodendron tulipfera
and a beautiful Magnolia delavayi to the right
The Jungle Verandah, soot, ash, and water everywhere



A jungle no more...



Of what were a Dicksonia antarctica to the left and a Trachycarpus wagnerianus to the right 

Ground ferns burnt
Of what's left of our signature blue bench and the ruins of a vase 
After the initial shock, and a weekend of cleaning out the mess, debris, ashes that fell on the rest of our garden that were unaffected, our emotions turned from disbelief to irritation as we now go through the process of making claims for the damages. Plenty of phone calls were made (and still plenty more to do), lots of listing were done, researching and requesting for quotations here and there, salvaging what can be salvaged, and planning ahead; the situation has now settled into the annoyance of needing to squeeze in more work into what is already an exceptionally busy year for us.

Something we haven't mentioned before (and will mention now as to imply a clearer picture of our current, overall situation) is that our house is currently undergoing major renovation. I mentioned on a couple of blog posts before about the work that is happening on our top patio this summer but it is actually much more than that, rather the entire ground floor of the house is undergoing a major facelift. This detail we haven't mentioned before but I thought it's best to mention now as this is the main factor affecting how we are handling what is a very unexpected turn of events in the garden.

So our house is getting a makeover, what we didn't anticipate is that nearly the entire old garden will be needing a makeover too. The garden is supposed to be mostly 'finished' already, and now it needs work doing on it again....

To avoid undue stress we decided to continue concentrating on the house and the restoration of the garden will have to take second fiddle. As soon as necessary arrangements have been sorted then the burnt areas will be cleared, planting beds will be bark mulched and left blank until replacement plants have arrived.


Before
After
Before
After
Before
After
Before
After
One of the signature traits of our garden and gardening blog is that we do nearly all of the work ourselves, planting and structural. This time however we are handing over the clearing and rebuilding of the burnt structures to the professionals. And the rebuilding won't be done until the work on our house has finished, as there are only so many builders and materials our garden can accommodate at any one point.

So there you go, a very unexpected and now interesting twist to our gardening adventures. We are fascinated ourselves as to how things will unfold in the coming months, and what changes will happen. Stay with us as we continue to update our blog on how we deal with the damages, the process of clearing out, rebuilding, replanting, and the changes that will happen as a result of this event. And one other aspect we will definitely feature is the response and behaviour of the plants that were affected by the fire. Some are well and truly demised but which ones will resprout and which ones will recover after going through inferno? Plants are amazing things and we're hoping to be surprised.


Knickers inspecting the unexpected changes (yes, both cats are fine, and so does all the fish)
Out of the ashes a phoenix will rise.... (metaphorical bird I mean, and not Phoenix canariensis!)

Mark :-)

127 comments :

  1. OMG...OMG...OMG...I can't believe this...I'm am so sick to my stomach over this :-( I can only imagine how devastated you must both be feeling right about now...truly awful. I'll be thinking of you both here in Portland...sending you good thoughts for the re-building of your beautiful garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the thoughts Scott, we're both fine now and looking forward to the changes.

      Delete
  2. I'm stunned, I don't even know what to say--and I'm rarely at a loss for words. I have no idea how you're handling this situation. Just remember to be there for each other as you go through this traumatic time. Delegate what you can and leave the rest for later when you have more clarity.

    I just hope your neighbor's insurance won't give you grief. Putting a monetary value on the plants that were destroyed cannot be easy!

    My thoughts are with you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gerhard, appreciated. All peaceful and calm now and just waiting for the time when we can do proper clearing out of the space.

      Delete
  3. Oh, how awful! My heart is just breaking for you. I can't even imagine what you must be feeling. All that jungle beauty and your outbuildings and your stuff just destroyed. What a waste. What a chore it will be to rebuild. Oh I just feel sick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alison, we're leaving most of the clearing out and rebuilding to the professionals so hopefully things will be restored quite quickly too.

      Delete
  4. O my I am so so sorry for you chaps you've worked so hard your garden was your world I know that . I hope that you can salvage some of the plants keep your chins up Carol xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm shocked,and stunned. I hope you receive a decent recompence from your neighbour for all the damage. And i'm sure that with both of you attending your plants that your lovely garden will be back to greeny lushness in no time. Sending hugs to you both.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so sorry, what a terrible thing to happen, it must have been a terrible shock. Sending you all the best for the restoration of your garden.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am so very sorry to hear this horrible news and my heart goes out to you. What an awful thing to happen to such nice people and a wonderful garden. I hope that you are reimbursed fully for damages and that you are able to replace your large plants with ones of equal size. Thank goodness that your cats and fish are o.k.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Peter, we hope and yes thank goodness all pets are fine.

      Delete
  8. I was brokenhearted for you before but seeing those photos it breaks all over again :( Nothing will ever replace all the love and hard work you have put into that garden, although sometimes from unexpected events good things come. I hope that it's not too stressful a time for both of you and that we'll all see the garden looking amazing again soon x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nat, good things will come indeed and looking forward to the cleaning up and rebuilding.

      Delete
  9. Ohh I am so sorry! :-( such a beatiful gaden! Hope you both can make it look green back very soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope so too, we're optimistic and looking forward to getting stuck in later in the year.

      Delete
  10. Oh I am so sorry to read this guys. You must be absolutely devastated. Wishing you strength both mental and physical as you go about the task of recreating your beautiful plot. Hang on in there xxx

    ReplyDelete
  11. You continue to be beacons of how to manage a balanced life. I can only imagine that my current choked up state is a pale reflection of your first reaction to the devastation. But you got a handle on it and end this post on an upbeat note. Thank goodness the cats, the fish and YOU are all well. All of us will enjoy watching the phoenix rise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ricki, much appreciated. Indeed we're glad that everyone's fine, no one was hurt and all pets are safe. We're optimistic and looking forward to getting stuck in again once we get the chance to do so.

      Delete
  12. I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of part of your garden. It cannot be easy, and your post is remarkable for your calm tone, although the before and after pics really say it all. I hope the rebuilding goes smoothly. I feel sure that you'll remake it even better than it was before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pam, we're both fine and already looking forward to the restoration and possible changes ahead. Will try our best to make it even better than before.

      Delete
  13. Hi! I'm really shocked with this tragedy... I'm not physically part of the project, but I've been following your blog for a long time and I feel like it's a little bit my garden as well. And as we have a shared passion for succulents and other plants, feel free to come to the Algarve (Portugal) for a visit, as my guests, and pick whatever you want from my garden! It's my way of trying to help with cope with this situation.
    Best wishes and be strong
    Júlio

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind gesture Julio, we might just take you up on your offer of visiting your place in the beautiful Algarve. Much appreciated.

      Delete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so awful Mark and Gaz, all that hard work, and such devastation to arrive home to! My heart goes out to both of you.
      :-(
      At least the house and pets are ok.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Conrad, it was a shock at first but we're both fine now and looking forward to getting stuck in again once we get the chance. And yes thankfully house and pets are fine.

      Delete
  15. I am relieved that you, the fish and the cats came to no harm. I can well believe that the garden is on the back burner (oops) at the moment but I guess it won't be long before you start planting again even if it's just a few winter flowering pansies:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Don, your comment just made laugh! Yes we're relieved both house and pets are fine and unscathed.

      Delete
  16. Oh no, I am devastated for you but so relieved you and your pets are okay. I'm so very sorry this is happening, and with a reno going on inside! Fingers are crossed that many of your plants are able to regenerate and that the insurance reimbursement comes in with a minimum of hassle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Heather, and we hope so as well. It's the renovation we're very excited for at the moment, and was the buffer that kept the shock to a minimum.

      Delete
  17. I am so, so, sorry this happened. I will be sending positive thought for a - more than hoped for - plant regeneration! Wishing you both peace through this painful and aggravating time. Jenni

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jenni, most appreciated.

      Delete
  18. You guys I don't even know where to start. I wish you were (or I were) closer so that I could come help you clean up, or help you find replacement plants (down the road). That photo of Knickers captures what you all must be feeling. Their paradise and yours, gone. God I hope your neighbor and their insurance company make this right for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Loree, most appreciated. You'll have to visit again next time you're in England, with so many changes since your last one it will be like a different garden altogether.

      Delete
  19. Oh my god, the devastation.... What a tragedy! I can't even imagine how you must feel, and I admire your resolve in dealing with the aftermath. I hope at least some of your treasured plants will re-sprout, or somehow magically recover as you focus your attention on the interior of your home. Glad no one was hurt, but still... Sending all the good thoughts in the world your way...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words. It'll be interesting to see which ones will re sprout again, or even recover.

      Delete
  20. Wow. I haven't visited your blog in awhile due to "life renovations" but that doesn't mean I don't feel badly. This is horrible. I am dealing with a lot of stress too and what you're facing is not only unimaginable to me right now, it would break me under the stress I'm already under.

    Sounds to me like you should start an international "seed money" fund. With enough donations (since we can't all send you plants and cuttings) maybe we could all do our bit to help you get your jungle back on track.

    Just my two cents on the matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ann for the kind gesture and suggestion. I hope your stress will ease off and things will calm down for you as well.

      Delete
  21. I'm so sorry. Who would've imagined that your paradise could burn. Wishing you and your garden a speedy recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Patricia, much appreciated.

      Delete
  22. How devastating. I am so sorry this happened to your lush and verdant garden, Mark and Gaz. Being the avid gardeners that you are, you will rebuild. I hope the process will prove to be healing to you both. Sending positive thoughts and gardening peace to you both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you MulchMaid. We're so looking forward already to the time when we're able to get stuck in again and rebuild those sections of the garden. In a way something to look forward to.

      Delete
  23. Oh Boys, I'm so, so sorry. How truly awful - you must be devastated. I suppose one should be grateful it wasn't worse and that the fire didn't reach the house but that is small comfort. You seem to be remarkably sanguine about it all. Keep smiling and the very best of luck for the next few weeks. Thinking of you, Dave

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dave, so glad indeed the neither the house nor any of the pets were affected. We're both fine now and looking forward to the restoration of the site.

      Delete
  24. Vraiment désolé de ce qui vous est arrivé, puisse votre jardin renaître rapidement de ces cendres
    Amitiés sincères

    ReplyDelete
  25. ..... Disaster! I am SO sorry! I just had my shade garden 'tragedy' - one huge tree was removed from my neighbors property, and it turned to a sunny garden. After this disaster with your garden, my 'tragedy' doesn't look tragic at all. It was hard on me, but I can't even imagine what you are going through... I wish you the best in this situation.
    Hugs,
    Tatyana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tatyana, most appreciated. Such things are all relative but the best bit is the ability to adapt and recover, which I'm sure you'll be good at as well.

      Delete
  26. Oh guys I am so very sorry - how upsetting but at least the cats are OK.
    It will be interesting to see if any of the plants re-sprout as some have an inbuilt ability to rejunenate from fire.
    I dont know how I would cope with looking at that each day but at least you have the house to focus on and I suppose in time you will be able to think about how you might want to do things differently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Helen, and yes we're so glad all our pets were unaffected. You are right there, once we get stuck in again we'll get the chance to do things differently and improve on what was there.

      Delete
  27. Oh Mark and Gaz I'm so sorry to see all your hard work gone up in smoke - hugs to you both.

    Like Helen, I was musing as I read your post on how much of what you grow may be dependent on fire for its rejuvenation. I've worked on a project in Mallorca looking at how natural habitats regenerate after fire and it's amazing to see how resilient some plants are.

    I know this is a great shock to you both right now, but in time your Alternative Eden will rise from the ashes, even better than before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Michelle, we hope so and we're optimistic on what lies ahead. We're fascinated ourselves on which plants will recover from the blaze, and I think we've spotted one or two movements already.

      Delete
  28. Am stunned as you have such an inspirational garden and it has been cut down just as it reached its August summit. We had a fire in the grassland behind our house in May that is now verdant and grasses, Bamboo etc seem to bounce back. It did some but no where as bad as damage to my garden as to what has happened to your. Trees are still leafless/have a few leaves. The smell of burnt things is still in the air at the grass area even though it has fully recovered. So if it helps, try and mix in the top soil with fresh to get rid of that.

    Am glad that you are being positive and it will be interesting to see what re-sprouts and how the garden reacts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words. Once we've done the clear out we'll mix in lots of freshly bought topsoil and cover large sections of it with bark mulch until we're ready to replant them. At the moment there is still the distinct whiff of burnt vegetation in the air but this too will fade eventually.

      Delete
  29. UG awful awful... I hope things are calming down as the dust settles....love to you both

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh no! So sad for you both - your garden was so beautiful and inspirational. I'm sure it will be again in time. Cyber hugs from Liverpool, Maggie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maggie! It'll look good again once we get the chance to get stuck in again.

      Delete
  31. I can´t believe it! is horrible!! such an incredible and paradisiatic garden all gone!! I´m very sorry... it´s going to be such hard work to re do it...but I bet it´s going to turn awesome again in a few years. By the way, I´ve been in Gran Canaria a month ago and Phoenix canariensis seems to resist very well fires as there was a fire there some years ago and the palms survived pretty well. I don´t know if you had any in your garden but if you did, they sure will rise out of the ashes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa, recovery shouldn't take long as it will mostly be replanting rather than wait for most plants to recover. We did have some Phoenix canariensis there, treated as annuals as they're not that hardy for our location.

      Delete
  32. I'm just sick at the devastation of your beautiful gardens, building, furniture, etc. All of that hard work is hard to choke down also, but at least you have the right attitude, let the insurance pay for what needs to be done. Hope your inside work is progressing well for you.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cher! House work is doing well and going smoothly, and is keeping us on our toes at the moment.

      Delete
  33. Oh Golly, how awful. I know its only plants and luckily no one was hurt, but its the time and trouble you have taken in sorting and planning and sourcing the plants. I think your right to leave this part until your ready. You will be surprised what may pop back and I'm sure your inspiration and designing skills will come up with a new and possibly even better plan for this area. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words Libby, much appreciated.

      Delete
  34. This is such a sad turn of events and completely unexpected - who could even imagine it!?!

    I applaud you guys for your pragmatic refusal to be beaten and your 'pick-yourselves-up and start all over again' attitude is inspirational! Main thing is your animals were not harmed and you guys are safe and sound too!

    I feel sure that mother nature will re-boot (at least some) of your precious plants for you and in the meanwhile, your internal renovations will keep your mind elsewhere; so when they do re-appear it will be a gorgeous and welcome surprise!

    Meanwhile, my thoughts and best wishes are with you two and your little piece of paradise God bless.
    Take carex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the encouraging words, appreciated. We're very optimistic about what lies ahead and once we get stuck in those area should start to look good again.

      Delete
  35. The before and after photos are particularly heart-wrenching. I'm glad you're both okay. {hugs}

    ReplyDelete
  36. My jaw hit the floor when I read this, you must have been devastated to see the damage in such a beautiful and lushly complete landscape, not to mention the stress of having to make insurance claims. Very sensible of you both to leave the rebuilding of structures to the pros, and I am delighted the damage was not more widespread, and your house was spared, but goodness, this was the last thing you needed when in the middle of such a huge internal renovation. I will watch developments with fascination, on the plant survival front and also on what, if anything, you chooses to change now you have such an unexpected and unwelcome "opportunity". My heart goes out to you both, you write so calmly and sensibly about it now, but goodness, that must have been a shock and a half...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Janet! We now see it as an opportunity to do a few things differently. It was totally unexpected but as aftermath we have started to make plans for the areas. It's mostly waiting game at the moment. The area should start to look good again once we get the chance to sort it out (and builders building).

      Delete
  37. What a gigantic ripple in the blogosphere to read and see such wrenching photos. Hoping the insurance people move on this quickly. What in the heck was going on in the neighbor's yard to bring about this devastation? Thank god the house was spared. And kitty and fishes too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Denise, and yes we're surprised at the response and amount of support we have received, we're both very grateful. Can't say much about what happened and why it all started but we're relieved in a way that it did not start at our garden.

      Delete
  38. Après le "post" sur les Yuccas bleus, trop de temps s'écoulait avant que ne vienne le suivant, me laissant ainsi penser que quelque chose d'anormal vous arrivait ...Mais waouh!!, comment imaginer un tel désastre!
    je vous souhaite beaucoup de courage, je sais que vous en avez!
    Juste un conseil, si je peux me permettre, n'allez pas trop vite à couper ce qui peut sembler mort ... les plantes peuvent être surprenantes dans leur résilience et leur résistance. Si le feux est passé rapidement, beaucoup devraient reprendre leur végétation. Et puis, ... les cendres sont aussi un engrais naturel.
    Best regartds from 2 guys in the french part of Belgium who are gardening the same lush and tropical way of you both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci beaucoup! Your kind words of support are much appreciated.

      Delete
  39. Sorry to see this devastaion, hope you soon recover what you have lost,

    Fire is so scary too.

    Kate

    ReplyDelete
  40. I can imagine how you must feel, your neighbour must be a right berk for allowing this to happen, I would be livid myself, and not many people will understand the massive time and effort involved creating such a garden as well as the financial investment in plants, some no doubt that are difficult to replace. Thank god no one was injured. I do hope once the shock has diminished that perhaps in time you may view the event as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience,our gardens are always evolving and maybe there are possibilities to improve the big things which you wouldn't normally undertake.

    All the best

    Tony

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tony, most appreciated. We're glad no one was hurt and all our pets were fine. There were some irreplaceable gems that perished in the fire but most, fortunately you can still readily buy although perhaps not the same size as they have attained in our garden through the years. We see this as an opportunity now and we're very optimistic on what lies ahead.

      Delete
  41. How heartbreaking! I'm glad that you, the cats and the fish at least made it through physically unscathed. I'm inspired and impressed by the fact that you are so philosophical about the loss. I'll be watching, along with you, to see what plants come back and what you create from the devastation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kris, your kind words and encouragement are appreciated.

      Delete
  42. OMG how incredibly DREADFUL! As I was viewing the pictures I felt like crying. I can't even imagine such a thing happening. So, so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have tears in my eyes as I write this note to you. What an awful scary thing to happen. I know how much love you put in your garden. The photos tell it all. I hope the insurance companies don't give you too much grief. I am glad that you both, cats and fish were not physically harmed. We are all thinking about you and look forward to see 'what rises from the ashes'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Candice, your kind words are most appreciated.

      Delete
  44. Just AWFUL! The before and after photos broke my heart. So much hard work and love has gone into that garden but this time next year, who knows, it could be better than ever! Wishing you all the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Patricia. Once we get the chance to sort it out those areas should start to look good again in no time at all. We're very optimistic.

      Delete
  45. Wow you guys, this is just dreadful. Reading this post I invariably personalized it-what if it were my garden ? The good news is (and we always need good news to offset crap like this) I think after a few days of grief and dis-belief I would start to see opportunity. That is the only way I would be able to process something like this. Out of the ashes, y'know ? Hugs to you both, I KNOW you will prevail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks ks, we're not too bad actually. First 48 hours were stressful but afterwards we were mostly fine and just have to start organising things. Your kind words are appreciated.

      Delete
  46. Completely heartbreaking. I'm so sorry for your loss and to have it during a remodel...that's too much. I'm grateful that you're all safe. And I wish your garden and your broken hearts a speedy recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words, much appreciated.

      Delete
  47. I was so shocked and sad when I read your post yesterday, I couldn't write a comment. My heart goes out to you at the loss of the lovely paradise you've so lovingly created. I hope very much that in it's new restored form it somehow gives you even more joy than at first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ingrid, we're doing fine now and the damage wasn't that bad on the scheme of things. We're looking forward to the changes ahead.

      Delete
  48. Absolutely shocking to see such devastation. I admire your philosophical outlook now that the ashes have settled. Do they know what what started the fire?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Helen! We haven't received the full report yet and for now it's only speculations but at least we know for sure it didn't start from ours.

      Delete
  49. Heart-breaking to see the photos. I don't think my plants are covered by insurance, but then how do you price a plant that you grew from a seed. Interested to see how your next chapter unfolds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks b-a-g, pricing a plant is a tricky thing and most of the time all you can do is stab a guess of its monetary value even if you deem it priceless.

      Delete
  50. Oh my word, my stomach turned and my heart ached seeing the "before" and "after" pictures. I wish you a speedy recovery of the garden. If we were anywhere near each other, I would lend you my Phoenix Canariensis while you rebuilt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sunil and thanks again for the lovely offer.

      Delete
  51. I am heart sick for you. I suspect your feelings are similar to what I felt when a tornado destroyed the center of our property back in 1990. I still remember the anguish, though I now have a beautiful garden that is quite different from what it would have been. Like you, we had a lot of house renovation that had to come first. I am glad that your house itself was not damaged. My wishes are for a speedy recovery for your garden and your soul. Make it even better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Debs, after the initial shock we're both absolutely fine now and looking forward to the changes ahead.

      Delete
  52. Oh my....after a busy few days with family here I haven't even opened my laptop so I am quite surprised to see your recent blog posts. I am so sorry to hear about this fire! I am happy that it does not appear to have touched your home and that you are safe. But still, all of your hard work...thoughts are with you. Jeannine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jeannine! We're both fine now and we're glad none of the pets were harmed and the house was untouched.

      Delete
  53. I've only just heard of this awful event. What devastation! I feel gutted for you both. As you so aptly say; the Phoenix will rise again... it will take time but I hope not as long as you think.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sue. Phoenix will rise very soon!

      Delete
  54. Not fair ! to say the least. Wishing you both "Bon Courage" in the coming months. It ain't over until the fat lady sings, they say... You didn't hear her, did you ?
    Take care :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not yet Celine, thankfully! And thank you for the well wishes.

      Delete
  55. Plants are amazing things and sometimes fire regenerates growth. It would be supprising what plants would regrow and perhaps thrive after being burned to a crisp in the firery inferno.
    Its like in a documentary where the lush forest gets burned by wild bushfires. Hopefully some of your aussie and south african flora would regrow.
    Best wishes with the garden and the house

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Callum. Some of the plants are showing signs of regeneration already and with all the warmth and rain we're having they are helping them do so.

      Delete
  56. Heartbreaking and yet you're so positive, you're an inspiration to us gardeners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words, very encouraging to hear.

      Delete
  57. I'm so, so sorry. I don't know how you casn sound so positive. I'm sure your garden will be beautiful again, but I know I would find it hard to start again when so much has been achieved. My thoughts are with you. Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Christina, we're both fine now and looking forward to the rebuilding and replanting of the affected areas.

      Delete
  58. I don't really have much to say that hasn't already been said but I will admit that I am kind of excited to see what changes you guys end up making to the plant palate and such...you two seem to have no trouble finding the coolest, most bizarre plants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tom! We're looking forward to the changes ahead.

      Delete
  59. Just checked my blog for first time in months, couldn't believe this, so sorry, and so humbled by the optimistic way you are dealing with this. You are amazing guys! Martin

    ReplyDelete
  60. Just got to read this since our son has been in the hospital with a severe illness this month. I am so, so sorry for you two and your poor tropical garden. I just can't imagine all that hard work now turned to ash. Some of the plants will rejuvenate beyond your wildest imagination since they 'know' about fires out in their natural habitat. Others will, sadly, never recover.
    Yes, if we didn't live an ocean away I would gladly bring you babies of all the plants you would want from my tropical garden.
    I've been through two hurricanes with immense damage to our garden, but never a fire. I just thank God that you two were not hurt.
    Hang in there. David/:0)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Every gardener's nightmare. And you were awake. I'm so, so sorry. I hope you can get the insurance situation squared away and can replant soon. My heart hurts.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Guys I am stunned. I have been away from the blog for most of the summer and to come back to this news is absolutely heartbreaking. Where on earth do you start to try to rectify this damage and replace plants that have not only been sourced with great effort and as part of your horticultural travels around the country but have been nurtured so lovingly.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Guys - just catching up with blog reading - what an awful experience for you and such losses. Plants and growth can't be replaced whatever the insurance claim. Yet I know you are so determined that your garden will be recreated and no doubt better than before!

    ReplyDelete
  64. OMG! That is terrible, terrible news. I cannot find words to express the dismay and heartache that I feel for you. As people here say when misfortune happens, "basta walang nasaktan". I hope things have improved in the interim since this post was made. I will patiently await your updates about your "phoenix". Quite possible since ashes can serve as good fertilizer. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Oh I'm so sorry to read this guys. Thankgoodness you have a blog full of pictures to remind you of what once was there ... but I'm sure when you have the time and energy required you'll remake the garden even better than before.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I've been away so only caught up with your news just now when I read about the arrival of the ginkgos. Appalling surprise for you (the fire) and wonderful new adventure - both. Best wishes. Hope everything turns out well. Can't be better than it was but it will inevitably be different whatever happens. Good luck with the house too. What a life! You'll remember this year!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Holy moly. The Koi are all okay? So sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Ouch! I've been so busy myself that I haven't kept up to date with your garden progress - and then I've read this. All I can say is that into every life a little rain must fall - but why does it always have to be monsoon season?

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to reply to our post, we love reading comments and hearing your views.

Due to the increased level of spam, please note comments on older posts are moderated and only published after approval. All new comments are read and any spam is deleted.