And then there was a cracking sound…

After a morning doing mundane things like shoe shopping for kids, I threw myself down on the sofa, exhausted and found myself in a zone that was too comfortable.  I had to make a conscious decision to get out there and do things or nothing would get done!

So I pulled on my gumboots and headed out into the garden.  The logical project was sorting out the irrigation for the hanging baskets so it was what I set out to do.  There was a brisk breeze and the cobwebs were blown from between my ears and any fuggyiness I was feeling on the sofa was soon gone.

I have a cunning plan with my hanging baskets, devised after trying to water them with a watering can and getting annoyed with having the water run down my arm, past my elbow and into my armpit.  I have six hanging baskets on two sides of my house and the watering was a bit hit and miss as I didn’t enjoy the soggy situation.  So my baskets would spend most of summer looking limp.  Then I had an idea.

This is where it would be ideal for a picture of my lovely hanging baskets or of their awesome hose self watering system, but in the chaos of the day I didn't take any photos of it at all!  So here is a gherkin.

This is where it would be ideal for a picture of my lovely hanging baskets or of their awesome hose self watering system, but in the chaos of the day I didn’t take any photos of it at all! So here is a gherkin.

I grabbed a length of hose, some irrigation tubing and connectors and little sprinkler heads and the hose is run up from the tap, up beside the downpipe and into the gutter around above the hanging baskets.  Then a length of irrigation tubing is attached to the hose above each basket and it comes down from the gutter, around the hanging bracket and the sprinkler end hovers just above the plants in the basket.  The end of the hose has a stopper in it and all I need to do is once a day connect the hose to the tap, with a timer on it – set to about 10 minutes and all six baskets get a descent watering at the same time – the nappy in the bottom gets topped up with water to help the plants stay moist all day and I don’t need to get wet at all!  Brilliant.

The thing is, I only ever use cheap hose for this project as it is what it is.  But our strong sun perishes plastic for breakfast and every couple of years I need to change the hose or there are leaks spouting out over the guttering like a water gun aimed at unexpected passer-by’s.  So today’s job was to reconnect the irrigation tube to new hose and get it to sit nicely in the gutter.

The wind was really blowly as you can see by the whooping my lemon balm was taking.

The wind was really blowly as you can see by the whooping my lemon balm was taking.

As I was working away I noticed the wind picking up – and I looked around and realised not only had it picked up – it was actually really bad.  A quick check of the weather on the internet said it was 51km/h but I reckon it was more than that.  It was a batten the hatches down kind on wind as a large pile of weeds I’d pulled a couple of days ago, but left where they lay, blew past and the Joeyosaurus yelled over the noise of the wind “look – tumbleweed!”

I looked over at the garden and saw that while it was being buffeted about the place – it seemed to be holding up.  Then I heard a crack. The thick sturdy bamboo poles holding up the peas snapped at the base.  First one pole and then another until they had all broken.  The weight of the peas was too much for the poles in the wind.  I grabbed every stick, pole and stake I could find and tried desperately to get it back up on its feet, but meanwhile the wind was whipping about the place making a mockery of my efforts.  In the end, with the peas upright, but only just, I conceded defeat and came inside.  I tried my hardest not to look at the damage as there was nothing I could do while it was going on.  It would have to wait until tomorrow when I can assess the damage and make proper lasting repairs that can withstand strong winds, should they come again.  That is provided they have gone away by tomorrow.

This was after the first pole had gone down, before long the whole lot succumbed to the forces of nature.  My poor peas.

This was after the first pole had gone down, before long the whole lot succumbed to the forces of nature. My poor peas.

Gardening – while incredibly rewarding can also be incredibly heart breaking.  It took a lot of inner strength not to cry over my bashed up peas.  I’m sure they will be fine and bounce back.  But I grew them from seed and nurtured them lovingly and I wasn’t able to protect them from a force outside my control.

Come again soon – I’ll be out there in damage control mode.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

 

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18 Comments on “And then there was a cracking sound…

    • HI Elaine. I don’t know what is worse – a storm at night where you lie in bed and imagine the damage being done, or a storm during the day when you can see it happening before your eyes but cant do anything about it.
      It turned out to be not so bad – not as much damage was done as it looked at the time. phew!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  1. Oh no!! So sad to hear about the windy attack! Its very windy here in my part of Scotland too, so I usually hide everything in the greenhouse when possible, or they get torn to shreds. I’m putting raised beds in for the first time to use next season (because I’m on the opposite side of the world to you, so sadly my season is pretty much over) and I’m really worrying about how to make sure every support doesn’t just blow clean over. Interested to see what solutions you come to! Hope your peas are alright!

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    • HI Rozzie. I have raised beds because we live on what was once a swamp and so in the winter it gets a little soggy so to grow all year round it was my only option.
      I am always trying to improve on the previous year – learning from my mistakes – I shall have to come up with something much stronger to hold up the peas next time.
      All the best with your new raised beds for next season.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Brigid. Every year there is something new to learn from some traumatic event or other, and just when you feel great because you have mastered a season – along comes another one with a completely different set of challenges! \
      I think my peas will survive – which is just as well as they are on the menu for Christmas!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • HI Lucinda. I think it was one of those situations where it seemed a whole lot worse at the time, and in calm of the next day it wasn’t nearly as bad – although I do need to rebuild my pea structure around the peas, without damaging them – which should be fun.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Arthur. It was a pretty strong wind, I think with my peas being the only real damage we got of lightly. Other areas had trees down and some people were harmed. These things seem to come out of nowhere and take you by surprise.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Oh Sarah, how disappointing. I’m sure they’ll recover if the roots remain intact, but I know the disappointment well. Crazy wind! Please keep us posted.

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    • HI Alys. The roots are all still in the ground and connected to the plants. So with a bit of ingenuity I’m sure I’ll come up with a structure strong enough to cope with the next wind – I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of it yet!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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        • Hi Alys. Most of the trees in the district have a certain lean on them, and it is definitely the direction the wind comes from most of the time. although every now and again as doozy comes through from the opposite direction and does even more damage. A wind break would be a good idea, but it has to go on the list as there is a lot of ground that needs protecting so it wouldn’t be a cheap exercise. It would definitely save a lot of tears.
          Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. You have strong winds and I have slugs and snails out the wazoo, its a constant battle against nature and there is more of her! Hopefully your peas all survived. Mine haven’t even emerged from the ground yet!

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    • Hi Fran. My peas have had to put up with a lot – a pasting by the wind and soggy soil from days of rain. But they are still standing and the flowers are giving way to tiny green pods. These peas should be amazing after surviving all they have been through.
      I hope you have better conditions for yours.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • Mine just came through the soil. My friend came around and forced peas on me…I have 6 rows of peas and about a million that appear to have emerged so it will be pea and carrot (she made me plant 2 packets of carrots as well…) city here! The rats ate all of her vegetables (bush rats) off at the base so she has decided that my huge garden is going to be her local grocery store…lucky we are mates eh? 😉

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