Stop press – it rained but then the wind came!!!!!

After writing yesterday that it was unlikely that we would have any rain before September, I awoke to a very cloudy sky and a nice cool breeze.  At about 8 am there were a few drops of rain, but so few that washing I had on the line drying still dried very quickly but then at about 9 am the rain came down in earnest accompanied by thunder and lighting.  It rained steadily for about half an hour, the garden was transformed; mostly I think because all the dust was washed from the foliage it was as if all the plants signed with relief, I know I was energised by the change in temperature, but then…….

I had been invited to a fellow gardener’s for lunch, we were both revelling in the cool air and a little rain was still falling.

After lunch (i.e. at about 4   pm) while enjoying an iced coffee we became aware that the wind had really started to blow; I jokingly said if it’s blowing this hard here it will be a tornado at my house……

I arrived home home at about 5,30 to find the top 3 metres of the cypress by the drive laying across the drive.

I dragged the broken top of the tree off the drive

It was heavy so I only pulled it the minimum I needed to to be able to pass with the car; I bent the top around so the image above doesn’t show the full length that broke off.

The top is bent around but here you can see the top

The break – the trunk is about 4.5 inches across.

Then I checked the sweetcorn, oh dear.

…and then there’s the sweetcorn or rather what would have been the crop for this year

I may be able to stake and tie some up but I fear that this crop is lost.

The view I often show of at the top of the drive has changed completely

The same tree in April (15th)

I think the only solution is to cut the top horizontally to make it look as if it should be this short.  It will then link visually with the three new cypresses that I show often (in the view from the terrace looking west).  All three will be pruned to have flat tops when they have reached the desired height.

From the terrace looking west (just over a week ago) and below now

From the terrace looking west today

To add insult to injury the wind also brought down almost all the figs from the tree.  After such a dry spring and cold winter the crop was never going to be large but now I’ll be eating most of it tonight!!

51 thoughts on “Stop press – it rained but then the wind came!!!!!

  1. Events like this really underline how vulnerable our gardens – and our food supply, in some cases – can be to weather conditions. The more I work with nature the more respect I have for farmers who manage with such unpredictability – said with all the more feeling after seeing mango trees in Cairo suffering from awful leaf blight, and finding it on ours too; and after a period of scorching temperatures that incinerated quite a few of our more tender crops.

  2. Oh dear, so sorry your cypress got lopped. I hadn’t realised how tall it actually was. Thank goodness there was no other serious damage (apart from the corn) and I hope you can enjoy your figs!

  3. Yikes! Summer storms, on the rare occasions we get them, tend to be more violent here too. At least you were able to quickly come up with a plan to ameliorate the damage left by the storm. Your view will be different but still splendid.

      • I was sorry to see that. Here we continue to have damaging hail storms around us and whole crops of corn are being destroyed. Very sad. I wish I could send you some. Although most grown in the US is GMO so I won’t eat it. Will any of your corn crop survive?

        • It is much worse when farmers’ livelihoods are threatened. I have time to sow more corn. It grows quickly here. There are just two standing after the storm, I’m undecided whether to try to put in canes to tie the corn too – seems a little excessive really.

  4. The pictures are really nice, I love seeing nature photography and beautiful scenery. Some people may not think it’s beautiful or nice but I do. Sorry about the storm and damage it caused😧

  5. Oh Christina, your poor tree.
    If it were me I’d leave the three shorter cypresses as they are. Their elegance comes from the tapering top. The older one will serve to emphasize that through its contrast. And if it really offends you, take it out?

    • I always intended cutting the other three when they reach the height to hide the new constructions behind them. It is still about 4 metres tall so is still making a statement, if I don’t cut the top straight I could leave another growing tip to take over but that would always be a weak point so better to cut it I think.

  6. The rain has been welcome but the wind has been very strong to break the plants and drop the figs. It is sad to lose plants. So tonight it is going to be thoughts on fig jam, fig chutney, fig… 🙂 Amelia

  7. Oh no. How awful. The wind can be so damaging. I’m feeling cross with myself for not staking the broad beans. They are all lying flat today. I’m hoping to prop them up, but I think they are lost. Nothing like your problems though. It’s sad when a large focal point changes like that. All the best. Karen x

    • Thanks for your kind thoughts Karen; I think next time I’ll grow the corn through pea netting as I do the cut flowers. I learned from experience that the crop was much better when I used netting for the peas and broad beans (vertically not horizontally).

      • Good idea. I’ll try that too. Last year I grew courgettes around the sweetcorn, and used the corn as support for Shiraz beans. They kind of all held each other up. But the rain has been so torrential here, everything is flattened.

  8. It’s never easy is it. I’m sorry about the cypress but at least you’ve got some rain. We too by the way and it’s just wonderful. Luckily it’s a steady rain that is being sucked up greedily by the soil. I hope you won’t have any more damage and in the meantime I always try and see the opportunities when something like this happens to me. Bon courage 🙂

  9. Glad to hear you got some rain. It’s so hard to see the garden suffer in a drought. The tree top is a sad loss, I know, but that’s the nature of gardening, isn’t it? Mother Nature loves to remind us to be humble and flexible!

  10. So sorry to read about your tree, maybe it will sprout again. One of my oaks lost its top, it must be about 100 yrs old, so one of my younger ones, although it looked awful for a couple of years it is now sprouting again.
    At last we have had some rain, nice and steady for 2 days and the garden looks so much better for it, Nature always has the upper hand.

    • Thank you for your concern Pauline. I’m sure another stem will take over as a leader if I don’t decide to keep it flat topped. You are fortunate to have so many mature trees in your garden, it makes it a very special place.

  11. Christina has at least been raining. I’m very sorry about the Cypress tree, I loved that big tree, and the other flaws. The damn wind blew a day that could have been perfect. Greetings from Margarita.

  12. What a shame to see the damage, but just thinking about some of your other challenges this one doesn’t seem nearly as bad (I’m thinking of your lost boxwood). I don’t much mind the shortened cypress and have faith it will grow up again faster than you think, even though it’s lost such a large chunk. I wouldn’t worry about a weak point… what’s the worst that can happen, another lost top in 15 years? Good luck on the corn, I’m sure it won’t care if it’s leaning or not and the ears will still be just as sweet!

  13. When I first read this post it was on my phone and I couldn’t see the pictures which really show the damage you described – what a shame after that welcome rain. I will be interested to see what you decide to do about the cypress – and the question you posed about pollination made me think, as these are things we take for granted. Were any of your decorative plants damaged?

  14. I’m looking forward to weather like that once our monsoon season starts…sometimes by now, but more and more in August. The damage the cool-down did in your area isn’t so good, but the refreshed foliage is really good to watch.

  15. Your garden looks fresh and beautiful after the storm, and I am glad that you can trim the tree and it will still flourish. I am sorry about the corn! Having lived through a destructive tornado, I am always nervous when we experience high winds.

    • Just taking a break from blogging and commenting. I’ll be back soon. Thank you for noticing I wasn’t writing. There was another huge storm today so maybe the threatened restrictions in Rome won’t happen. The plants and I were happy to have some relief from the blistering heat.

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