After the storm

This week has been awful.  The boffins had mentioned it, but often they are wrong, so I take the forecast with a pinch of salt.  Especially as the weekend was so magnificent.  It was warm – the kids went swimming.  I thought they were mad, but they seemed to have fun.  The sky was blue without a cloud in it.  It was the closest we have felt to summer since last summer.  You could almost reach out and touch it.  It felt so permanent that you couldn’t even begin to imagine the next day couldn’t be anything but the same again.

Storm damaged garlic

I think garlic rust is the least of my problems! Some of them are snapped! I’ll give them some seaweed tonic which is great for plants under stress and hope they recover well enough to go on and give me a decent harvest.

I’m not naive enough to not expect this though.  I know we are still in early spring and know she is a tease and not to be trusted, with her summer winter flipflopping.  But this time she was just mean.  I’d even say a bully standing in the corridor of the season barring me from passing by to get to where I want to be.  In the garden.

Storm damage.

My ‘sit in the shade’ chair has been tossed recklessly from my deck.

This week has had me trapped indoors by what was possibly the second worst storm we’ve had since we have been here – a mere 21 months.  The first one was horrible.  The wind was recorded at 212km up the coast from us.  Our house was on jacks with the house mover’s truck beneath and everyone feared all would be lost.  But alas no – all was fine.  Phew.  While intense, that storm only lasted overnight and we didn’t have any other permanent structures on the site, it became a worst-case scenario situation for us to build upon.  So, while terrifying it was a kind of blessing.

Storm damaged onions

All the onions have been knocked over and are pock marked with hail scars but I think they will bounce back.

This storm wasn’t as nasty in its intensity but in its longevity it was terrible.  It has pretty much lasted a full week with wind and rain and temperatures dropping so low that you’d think we were in mid-winter again.   There was also thunder and lightening and hail thrown in for good measure.  It was a good and proper storm.  The airport is near us as the crow flies but between them and the open sea is the skinny land mass that is the Awhitu peninsula, so they have a tiny bit more of a buffer than us from the rawness of the storm and they recorded 100km at its worst.  The worst I saw in my garden was 62km, but the house does seem to slow things down a little and out the front of the house it felt terrible.

Mustard cover crop

I know I was late digging in this cover crop, but now I needn’t bother as all the leaves have been blown away… Oh well, one less job to do!

Today the sun is out and the birds and singing and while there are clouds, they don’t look like they’re about to burst with a freezing cold shower.  But it is still a little windy here.  However, that is part and parcel of living so close to the sea!  It should ease soon I’m sure.  My weather station is telling me it is currently gusting at 23.4 km, but it feels calm enough after what we have been through.

Weather station

I’m surprised my poor weather station was able to keep up. The bit that indicates wind direction is long gone and it did take a couple of breaks during the storm where it stopped sending data, but it has certainly had a work out this week.

In my gardening history, on windy nights I would lie awake and worry about whatever greenhouse I had at the time and would eventually send Hubby the Un-Gardener out to check!  More often than not there was some kind of damage or loss that would require repair, replacement or upgrade.  Not forgetting the time poor Hubby the Un-Gardener was roaming the neighbour’s fields looking for polycarbonate panels, trying not to be blown away with the sail like panels he’d already found, in an electrical storm.  He never found them all as he made the conscious decision ‘I don’t want to die like this’ and stopped looking.

seedlings in the Dome

And like nothing out of the ordinary has happened, the plants in the dome have continued to flourish. I may spend a warm peaceful afternoon in there transplanting seedlings into bigger pots.

So, it was reassuring to know the dome stood up to the storm as expected and the seedlings within are green and lush and doing their thing like nothing untoward was happening around them.  I managed to make myself brave the weather at least once a day to go and water everything in there, and it was like a warm oasis in the midst of the terrible weather beyond the glass.  Even though it cost a lot more than I would have liked, in times like this I am so pleased to have it.  And I was able to sleep easy without worry.  Well more like, lie awake without worry because the wind is incredibly noisy.  It reminds me of a dog where its bark is worse than its bite.

ranunculus

This brave ranunculus has held its head high in the face of the storm and suffered very little damage. I like its attitude.

The boffins are suggesting in the next week or so, there will be rain and a bit of wind, but all going well it won’t be anything like what we have just been through, so it will seem a pleasure to garden through whatever weather is thrown at us.

Come again soon – things can only get better.

Sarah the Gardener : o)

3 Comments on “After the storm

  1. Sever weather is something I have never experienced. When I went to Oklahoma at the end of 2012, I thought I would get to experience a few days of a real winter, but it did not happen. It was mild and pleasant as long as we were there, and did not get cold until after we left. The house we stayed in was ruined by a small tornado associated with the Moore tornado a few months later.

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      • We left months earlier. We almost went back to help demolish the old home. It was was not completely destroyed by the tornado, but damaged enough that it was not worth repairing. Prior to the tornado, it was already in such bad condition that it probably should have been demolished anyway; but demolition was not a priority. Once it was removed, a new home was built on the site. Sadly, the Moore Tornado was one of the deadliest in the history of Oklahoma, and ruined so many new homes. The people I was with looked at the model homes in that neighborhood, just to the Southwest of where we were at.

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