While I wasn’t home to witness the onslaught, that didn’t make the following any less painful.
Only six weeks ago, I was Assessing the Damage and grateful the hail that fell during a passing storm was small and the damage we sustained was to a few delicate plants in the garden.
Sunday’s storm was another story altogether.
Gloomy skies and lightning and thunder foreshadowed what was coming. It was 1:30 pm.
The hail started gentle enough, the size of the stones was (relatively) small enough. But it didn’t stay like that for long.
(Dean took these and his hands were a bit shaky, but they still tell the story.)
For almost 20 minutes the hail rained down, with some stones the size of golf balls.
By the time it was over, it was after 2:00 pm and the yard had taken on a completely different look and feel.
We have no damage to our house (unlike my friend Judith who has smashed windows), and other’s nearby who have serious damage. But we were not alone, there were several storm cells that hit other areas, not just the ‘Sunny Coast’ where we live.
We were lucky, but the devastation in my garden is my tale of woe, my heartbreak.
Yes, I do feel heartbroken which is such a strange word to use when talking about plants. I know they’re only plants, but a lot of time and energy has gone into cultivating them, caring for treasured cuttings from family and friends, and I have received in return for my efforts a lot of joy from watching them grow and bloom over the last 2½ years.
Some are now a pummeled, unsalvagable mess that will have to give back to the Earth now in the form of mulch. Others will be cut back and, even though this is not the time of year that I would do that, I will cross my fingers and hope for the best outcome throughout the coming hot weather.
I’ll be honest, I almost cried when I got home.
I was out (somewhere safe) when the storm hit and didn’t get home until after 4:30 pm. As hot as it had been, there was still unmelted hail to be seen in the yard.
I do have plants that survived. My little pineapples are ok, as are the plants I keep in the (undercover) protection of the patio or tucked in under the eaves as the above photo shows. But I’ll have no Agapanthus this year – the flower stalks were ripped from the plants, as were my Hippeastrums. My Grevilleas have been stripped of a good majority of their blooms, but even as I write this, I can hear the birds outside. Grevilleas are resilient and enough of their flowers survived to still attract my feathered friends.
I haven’t even started cleaning up the mess left behind.
But I will this afternoon and (I guess) I do harbour hope that I can salvage more than I have to mulch.