Tuesday, April 21, 2015

STONED TO DEATH

This one word strikes fear into the heart of every gardener. HAIL. I have stood at the window many times as those pellets of ice dropped from the sky, worrying about how much damage it would do to my plants. Saturday night was different. We were leaving a friend's house and stood outside for a few minutes listening to a strange sound in the distance. As we headed down the road it began to hail pounding the car until visibility was zero. I was sure the windows would break. By the time we reached the road to our house the hail had stopped but we could see large drifts of hail, sometimes as deep as 4" At one point we stopped to try to take photographs. We should have waited until we got home. It would appear our street was one of the worst hit. We estimates 90% of the leaves are off the trees.
Ice was piled up several inches thick in many locations.

Side entrance to the garden. 3 garbage cans of leaves

The driveway and dry creek. 5 garbage cans from the driveway
 As well as this, 3 garbage cans of off the roof and 3 off the front path.

Piles of marble-sized hail covering plants

All vegetables stripped of leaves
 Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, chard, beans stripped.

Citrus trees stripped of fruit and flowers.

Two glass globes on pedestals smashed

All agaves shredded and pock-marked

Salvia luecantha 
 Ironically I decided to trim the tips off all my S. leucantha, this year, to make them more bushy. I wasted my time.
3 year old Bronze fennel flattened

All the flowers in my new window box flattened.

Mangave,'Macho moch' not so macho after all.
There will be no seeding of annuals this year. It is to be hoped that there are still plenty of bluebonnet and poppy seeds in the ground for next year. I pray that day lilies will bloom from the mangled and tattered foliage. I know the roses will be OK and hopefully the live oaks. But my big sadness is for my structural agaves and cactus.
I noticed the hummingbird wandering around the garden looking for blooms on Sunday. Was it some kind of omen that I found a hummingbird feeder at a garage sale last year. They have been visiting every day.
It's hard to believe that a week ago my sunken garden looked like this. I have lots of photos t remind me of how it will look next year.



28 comments:

  1. Holy cow! Your poor garden! I've never seen hail like that. I can't believe it stripped all the leaves like that. I hope your garden recovers and can bounce back! At least you have a long growing season down there to do so in.

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  2. I'm so sorry! This is heartbreaking.I hope everything recovers and once again brings you joy.

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  3. Oh Jenny, I can't imagine. It was only a couple weeks ago we were celebrating a most magnificent day in your garden with cool temps and spring rains bringing out its best. And now this very sad news and hard to read and see the state of your garden in the aftermath. Do you have another group scheduled in April!

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  4. My garden and trees are similar in the Barton Creek area of Austin. Tomato plants are nothing but nubs. Agaves have silver dollar size chunks removed in addition to pot marks and shredding. Anything tender and/or with leaves is stripped and flattened. Glad my pets and family are safe! Plants can be replaced and some will recover over time. Could have been worse. Ice finally melted completely today.

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  5. Oh no! That's horrible. I've never seen hail - or damage - like that. I wish I was closer and could help with the clean-up.

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  6. What a terrifying experience it must have been, driving home through the storm that caused that damage. Those poor plants... A miracle the hummingbird survived, and thank heaven you're feeding her. Small solace at the moment, but I am sure your beautiful garden will be beautiful again. Glad you made it home safe!

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  7. My heart goes out to you.

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  8. That's terrible Jenny! We had a similar hail event a few weeks ago, but it was early enough that most plants had barely emerged. You might be surprised at how many things will rebound and hide the fact that this happened, but the succulents are a different story. On the bright side, at least it wasn't golfball-sized or bigger!

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  9. So heartbreaking to see the damage hail can do in such a short time. How is your car?

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  10. We saw a hummingbird the morning after the storm as well. My husband remarked the winds must have blown them back into our area. I was relieved to have feeders out. TDS (That d*amned storm!) was weirdly inconsistent, force-wise. There are notable differences between areas separated by only a few blocks. You clearly caught some of the worst that storm had to offer.

    It is a very sad thing to see your beautiful garden smashed by ice and covered in what was this year's new growth of oak leaves. Clean up in this case must have been even more discouraging, as you uncovered damage after damage, exposing it to the light of day. What a compost pile that would make.

    I hope you'll keep us all apprised of surprises and survivors as you work your magic once again on your poor, pummeled garden spaces. We are all hoping for the best.

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  11. You will rally and recreate your beautiful garden--because that's what you do and you do it so well. So sorry for the destruction and I know how frustrating it is--we had a similar hail storm about 10 years ago. Wishing you all the best and am glad you and David are safe.

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  12. Oh this looks so sad. I'm terrible sorry this horror hit you. Your garden is one of the most beautiful ones. I'm sure that soon it will recover(at least perennials) and your garden will thrive again.

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  13. Holy moley I am sorry your garden got "stoned" It is a good thing plants are resilient.

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  14. Oh gosh, Jenny. Hugs, friend. And wine...lots of wine :)

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  15. It's so sad to see it in pictures. I hope everything grows back. You're garden has always been such an inspiration.

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  16. Oh honey I am sooooooo sorry! I actually got sick to my stomach reading your post. I have never heard of hail being so bad. I hope things spring back for you!

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  17. That is shocking. I've never seen damage like that. Surely most of your garden will soon be beautiful again--at this time of year plants can grow new foliage more easily than in the worst of summer. Best wishes for a quick recovery.

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  18. How horrible, it just got worse with each picture, I can't imagine what walking around and surveying the damage must have been like. My heart hurts for you and your garden.

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  19. So sorry your plants were stripped and damaged. Hail can really do a number on tender plants and leaves. I have been concerned about it as one storm after another is expected here over the next couple of days (and I have a tour this weekend). I bet your garden is beautiful and blooming again in a few months. Unfortunately, the damage to the agaves and similar plants will last longer. You might see if there is coverage under your insurance policy.

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  20. Well, I was feeling pretty bad about my shredded lotus and water lilies but not anymore. We had plenty of hail but it was more pea-sized which is good because our little Airstream Bambi was parked out front in preparation for an upcoming trip. Hope yours was safe and sound and covered up somewhere.

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  21. Dear Jenny, this is heart-breaking. Your garden is the most lovely one I've ever seen. This was brutal damage. Hugs to you both and to your dear little plants.

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  22. I was so sorry to hear about the damage when I saw you last Saturday and have been waiting for your post about it. You're right, the damage to structural succulents is the most painful. Everything else will come back, and I'm sure there are lots of wildflower seeds lying dormant for next year. It'll be beautiful again sooner than you guess, but oh, what a pain to witness. And then too the second clean-up, after the annual live oak leaf drop!

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  23. Yikes, I'm sorry to see that level of damage in your garden. Saw something like that visiting a nursery in Denver years ago, and it devestated everything - baseball sized hail. It will be intersting to watch your garden spaces all recover and bounce back.

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  24. Ohhh...I know you are devastated. But the garden will renew itself, as it does without us in nature, and you have a good attitude about it - looking at the things that are still stunningly beautiful and focusing on the things that will bounce back.

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  25. So very sorry. Sending hugs, I know you are a resilient gardener, but, still think hugs can't hurt. xogail

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  26. so sorry. never seen anything like this in life I was always afraid of the ice formed on plants, no problem , but this is something else. hopefully everything will regrow and reflower. the sucs and all will be scared but they'll survive. good luck, something good will come out of this.

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  27. Your sunken garden was gorgeous.

    So sorry to hear about the hail storm. Several years ago we had hail for half an hour and was the worst I'd ever seen, but it doesn't compare to the storm that you got.

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