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, Felicité 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?