Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hail Storm Shreds My Garden


When I was young, I was often cared for by E, an elderly black lady who had helped to raise my father, and then a generation later, my brother and me. During thunderstorms, she made Barry and me lie quietly on the bed until the tempest had blown over. We always wanted to play with our fire trucks, and I asked her once why we had to stop playing just because it was storming outside.

"The Lord is working," she said, "and you ought to show respect."

Today I witnessed a storm, for which the only proper response is silent awe.

Never in my life have I seen such . For more than an hour, hailstones pelted the city like rocks hurled by an angry god. The wind roared and torrential rains poured from the sky. Three times the onslaught eased, only to begin again with renewed fury. Windblown hail slammed into the windows like bullets, and it seemed like the sky had shattered and the whole of heaven was falling, hurtling to the ground in icy shards.

When the sky at last cleared, I ventured cautiously outside and found my garden in shreds, with 2 inches of ice around the battered stalks..

























Every squash, zucchini, bean, and pea plant in Teresa's straw bale garden was stripped of its leaves. She is very discouraged, because she's worked so hard on her garden--it was her first one-- and was looking forward to fresh yellow squash in a couple of weeks.

































From our front yard, I could hear rushing water and knew that our quiet little creek at the end of the street must have become a river...




















Down in the valley where the creek runs, a heavy fog had settled, turning an ordinary suburban street into a surreal landscape of light and shadow, with ghostly figures appearing and disappearing into the mist...





































15 comments:

Gina said...

holy shit david! That is horrible! i feel so bad about all your plants and we were all so eager to see how the bale of straw garden worked. what do you do in this situation? rip it all out and start over, or hope for the best?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a disappointment having all your garden shredded. Geez. I am glad you are ok. I bet the squash will continue to produce. Maybe it will be spread out so you can really enjoy it.

I remember my disappointment when a hail storm shredded my hostas one year. Not nearly as bad of a storm as you had but I remember the sadness of the rip and torn foilage. All will survive though.

kntspl nc said...

I was surprised by the lack of coverage of this major storm at this point.

Your blog is very nice and brought insight for this city slicker girl. I suddenly thought of the vendors several I now consider friends at the Greensboro Farmers Market- the one across from the stadium. This is their living and if they suffered the damage you did i hope there is help for them.

I'd like to end on a positive note. The tree with the sun shining through the fog is so beautiful.

I'm glad you are safe,

KNTSPL nc

Dropping the Ball said...

That's awful! Our garden was shredded by the same hail storm. I was so distraught over it last night.

David in Greensboro, NC said...

I don't know, Gina. I'm thinking of leaving it alone for a week and see what, if anything, looks like it will come back. It's still early enough that we could plant some new things and have vegetables later this summer.

You think the squash will come back, Lisa? I hope you're right. We'll see!

Hi kntspl--I was surprised as well--this was much worse than the storm a few weeks ago...unless, of course, you lived out near Sandy Ridge Road...I love the downtown farmer's market; Teresa and I go most Saturday mornings--maybe we've run into you!

Hi Dropping the Ball--Have you ever seen anything like that???

Daniel said...

Hi there from the Northwest. What an awesome storm. And awful for the gardener.

In our town this spring, we had warm, followed by freezing, followed by hot, followed by chilly and wet. There were quite a few fruit trees that didnt make it, having been soothed into flowering them "bam!" freezing.

Then again, we see the amazing regenerative powers of nature as well. I hope that your garden recovers quickly.

Iris said...

Holy moly! I saw the clouds and heard the thunder just to the south of us, but we didn't have a drop of rain, much less any hail. What a bummer about your garden. Fortunately it's early in the season, so I'll bet a lot of it will come through. Gardening is totally Sysiphean, isn't it?

Carolyn gail said...

This happened to one of my friends here in Chicago and it was a very devastating experience from which he never recovered. He moved South to North Carolina where he thought he would be safe from such storms.

So sorry to learn about all the destruction caused by the storm. This will take a lot of perseverance to overcome.

Connie said...

So sorry about your garden! That can be soooo discouraging after all the hard work. We had a hail storm once that pelted my cukes full of holes, and I didn't think they would recover, but they DID and went on to produce plenty of fruit, so my advice would be to really take time to assess things before pulling any plants out.

Annie in Austin said...

Your photos and description gave me goosebumps, David - what an experience it must have been to feel the direct force of such a storm.

I hope at least some of your garden will recover, but even as you survey the loss you know this is nothing that knowledge or diligence, care or experience could have changed - sometimes in life, the dog really does eat your homework.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anna said...

I was afraid of this. I saw it on radar and thought of you. I've been unable to post because of computer issues---but I know it was rough. We had that happen two years and again 10 yrs ago. Remembr the tornado that ripped up Clemmons in 99. Then was just in our backyard 2 weeks ago. We have had it rough lately.

I remember too the saying about being still cause God is working. It is eery. I think the squash will come back and so sorry about the rest. We gardeners do understand.

Meg said...

I am sorry to read about your garden. Here in Durham, we lost our electricity for a brief period, but we did not get one drop of moisture, frozen or otherwise. Now I see that was a good thing.

Weeping Sore said...

Yikes! What a discouraging thing for a gardener than for Mother Nature to betray them with unseasonal weather.

I'm sorry for your squash as well as the other victims of the hail storm. But you pictures, particularly the final one, convey a sense of calm acceptance that tells me you and your gardens will survive and thrive despite meteorological challenges.

Benjamin Vogt said...

My lord! You know, that same thing happened to me late last summer, almost as much ice as you. Sure does ruin things, but, obviously, much worse this time of year. I've got 8" of rain to deal with, not much better as things are rotting. Hope things recover somewhat for you.

Sybernetic said...

The same thing just happened to me here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Not everything in the garden was destroyed, so I'm hoping that some of it will be okay. It's very sad to see plants that you have taken care of from seed taken out in this way.