Monday, March 21, 2011

The Vagaries of Spring


Over the years, I have heard from a number of people, especially rose lovers, how they wished they could live in a benign gardening climate like California's where "everything seems to grow". I have to say that most of the time I agree, gardening in California is really rewarding. But not always. Nowhere is perfect, so I will leave the issues of earthquakes, alkaline soils,  and an ever-present threat of drought aside (is that not enough already?), and just talk about our winter and early spring storms. We have a couple a year, some worse than others. A few years ago, our neighbors lost most of the fence around their property - it fell down from wind damage. We lost some small trees in the same storm - they were not rooted well and were top heavy, so they ended up half a street away overnight.


But Saturday night was the worst we have seen yet. A severe storm passed over us at night, with almost 2" of rain and hurricane strength winds. We woke up in the morning to an awe-inspiring sight.


Half of our beautiful towering ash tree-- whose crown extended over our neighbors' property-- fell down, mostly into our neighbors' yard.


Fortunately, no one was injured, and most of the damage appears to be confined to the fence.  However, my beautiful, fragrant and thornless climbing bourbon rose, Zephirine Drouhin, full of buds and ready for a glorious spring flush, was directly in the line of fire and is completely crushed under a fallen section of the fence. It will probably come back, but certainly this year will be lost. My lovely alba, Felicit√© Parmentier, has only two unbroken canes left. Maybe I will see a couple of blooms this year, but then again, by the time the tree removal people are done, maybe not. Well, it could be worse. All's well that ends well, right?

26 comments:

  1. Poor roses! Oh well, I'm sure they will recover and it's good that the damage wasn't worse. Do you think that the tree can be saved, or will the whole thing need to come down?

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  2. Thank you, Shannon. We were told the other half of the tree will stand but it will need work because it is huge and lopsided right now. The crown will need to be evened out, and the trunk braced. Lots of money....

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  3. Poor tree, but luckily nobody is hurt. The wind and the rain together become dangerous more and more.
    Un saluto
    Delia

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  4. Quite right, they do, Delia. Thank you for stopping by.

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  5. Ooooh that's terrible
    here in Holland we should be glad that we have not such terrible hurricanes often.
    The most I've ever experienced wind is 11, but that was long ago.
    All other natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes and stuff, we do not know.

    Only here is the risk of flooding ..

    Too bad for your roses, I get the feeling, but next year they are probably back on track ..
    powered by

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  6. Yes, Marian, I know what you mean. Ever since moving to America I have been thinking that nowhere else is the weather as violent as it is in this country.

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  7. So sorry to hear about the tree. I am just thankful that everyone is okay. I pray that you will not have any more terrible storms like that one! Carla

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  8. Thank you, Carla, I appreciate that.

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  9. Poor tree...And your rose...It's always sad to lose gorgeous plants.But as you said,so lucky that no one got hurt.The nature has such enormous powers...We have cold winters but so far other natural disasters don't happen here.Except that during summertime thunderstorms are getting more destructive with hard winds...

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  10. Yes, Tiina, it is a pity to lose big established plants. I am coming to terms with it.

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  11. Ooh Masha, that looks scary! I am so glad that nobody was injured and the tree was not falling on someones roof, which probably would have caused even more damage. Also sorry to hear about your roses, that have taken a hit. I will post even more pics of my Zephirine Drouhin for you :-)!
    Christina

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  12. Thank you, Christina. As you say, no one was injured, which is all that counts. Thanks for the offer of Zepphy pictures!

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  13. I've been hearing about all the horrible storms in California lately. I'm so sorry about your tree. It's hard to lose something (or 1/2) when we least expect it. And I'm sorry about your roses, too, but it seems that now you'll have more sun for them! Glad to hear your neighbors were fine. Hope the cleanup is easy and quick.

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  14. Thanks, Holley, cleanup was quick but they mangled another rose by dropping a heavy piece of trunk on it... Sure I will have more sun now, but I might end up not having any roses left:)

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  15. "All's well that ends well"... I love the way you see all that...Sad for your lovely roses :(

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  16. That is a scary sight! A close encounter. It's been raining continuously over here in Malaysia. Sometimes we see young trees being uprooted. I notice that the gardeners trim the lower branches of the big trees along the roads regularly. I asked them why and they told me it is to prevent accidents.

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  17. Do you not find mild climate == hordes of pests? I do down here in Africa - my mother always complained that everything she planted got "eaten alive"... I have plenty of bugs even inside my balcony on the 1st floor.

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  18. Oh I'm sorry to see that happened! A consolation is that better the fence and roses than the house. Spring storms can be so violent and capricious. :(

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  19. Thank you, Isabelle. If Zephirine dies, it is a chance to shop for another rose - always exciting.

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  20. Thank you, One. We trim ours too, but I guess sometime it is not enough. I think we will end up taking the other trunk down too, just in case. Oh well, no shade any more...

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  21. Yes, James, lots of pests here too. Snails and slugs just love it here, I can't buy snail bait fast enough. Termites are pretty bad too, and expensive to treat the houses.

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  22. Thank you, Sweetbay, and I agree, all in all, the damage wasn't so bad. More sun for the roses, and less shade for us in summer:).

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  23. So sorry about the damage. I have to laugh when you mention earthquakes - my mother said she prayed daily that we'd be safe from earthquakes when we lived in Cal. Thankfully, nothing big hit during the 3 years that we were there.

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  24. Thank you, VW, even though I don't particularly understand the reason for laughter...

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  25. At least no roofs were damaged. I bet your roses aren't a total loss. They're amazingly tough. They'll probably just think they've been pruned - again.

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  26. Thank you so much, Sherry, for trying to cheer me up. Yes, the roses got all their spring buds pruned off, and a heavy log was dropped on my William Shakespeare 2000. Oh well, who knows, maybe they will come back even stronger:)

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I am so glad you have stopped by!