After a Storm: CRY!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tree Rose After Wind Storm: Bird Back 40
There are gardening writers in the local blogosphere (is that even a word?) who offer helpful and handy tips of what steps to take now that a storm has come and gone.

I'm here to tell you that I am not one of those bloggers. If you're looking for good advice, go elsewhere. If you're looking for "can't possibly fail" gardening tips, you've tuned to the wrong channel. But if you're here to laugh at my misfortunes, congratulations, you've reached Nirvana.

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that it doesn't take long for Mother Nature to utterly destroy what took you months to build. Mere hours of misfortune can result in epic disaster, especially if you've devoted an entire Bird Back 40 to this insane gardening endeavor.

St. Patrick's Rose Stem Ripped from Bush
Case in point? That nice looking tree rose bush pictured above right? That's not just any tree rose, my friend. That is the St. Patrick's tree rose. It was a gift to the wife that is Venus a few years back for her birthday. I would later to have to invest in another tree rose that went with the St. Patrick as it snapped in two following a rather ferocious wind storm.

That's gardening for you. Investment and epic failure. I'm here today to tell you that I babied this tree rose like no other when the first spring shoots began to emerge in February. It was given the best fertilizer on a once-a-month schedule. Daily and deep watering would follow. And if any bad bugs appeared to munch on those yet-unopened rose buds? They got a shot of something special, which also protected said tree rose from other maladies of the fungal variety.

Flavor Finale Pluot Tree: Mangled
But, in the end, when a sustained wind rips through the North Natomas river bottom, as it did this past Monday, it really doesn't matter. Because those howling winds just about tore everything to shreds, or mangled it to the point where it looks like someone beat on it with a crow hammer.

Those branches and buds of the Saint Patrick's tree rose that I'd cared for, nurtured, performed concerts for now lie in a heap on the ground. They are broken. They will not be roses. They will be waste for the Green Waste can. I am disgusted. What a waste.

Pluots That Will Never Ripen
That same despair and disgust applies to just about everything that Venus and I nurtured during those spring months. Why did we graft those new varieties to the Flavor Finale Pluot? So they could produce more pluots that the wind could just knock off the tree?

Oh, and that ingenious little contraption that I wrote about here that makes a nice little cover for my tomato plant starters? I also discovered, sadly, that it makes great kite material. This is after it blew off somewhere into Yolo County. I might find it someday and mount on a wall as a testament of good ideas gone very wrong.

Broken Arapaho Blackberry Vines
Never again will I visit those emerging Arapaho blackberry vine flowers and get visions of blackberry pie or blackberry cobbler. Not with visions like this one. Tender blackberry vines and sustained gusting winds do not mix. Something's gotta give, and it wasn't the wind.

Our spring of discontent doesn't end there. There's no need to "cull" the peach trees of extra peaches. Mother Nature did it for us. Whether we wanted to do it or not. Consider it done. And as desperate as I am, I will NOT try to glue those peaches back on the tree. Unless, of course, someone tells me it can be done.

If it didn't break, it got bent. If it didn't get bent, it flew two counties to the south. There was a time when the spring artichoke crops were close to growing over the fence. Not anymore. Some of them are growing to the east, while others grow to the west. Some are growing down. Did they survive? Sure! Will those plants snap off at the base under the weight of a heavy artichoke crop come this spring? By golly you betcha they will!

Bent Artichoke Plants
So, dear gardeners, take heed. No matter what measures you take to prevent disaster, no matter how hard you try, Mother Nature can undo all of it with a single blow. And then you begin to wonder why this lady doesn't like you so much.

A wise gardener once wrote the following: Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes." If that's the case, this must be a case of shock therapy at it's best.

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