My Perennial Garden | Awesome August

 I'm a bit behind on my posts, but it was some AWEsome August so I dare not miss showcasing it.

Limelight hydrangea, black eyed susans,  white calamint

Not just because my garden was thriving and overflowing with all my summer favorites... Roses, Blackeyed Susans, Joe Pyeweed and Limelight Hydrangea. But because of the unexpected excitement we received in the middle of the month that left us standing flabbergasted... in awe and disbelief.

August had been a hot, humid month... just what my plants loved. 

White Dawn Roses
My White Dawn roses on their second bloom for the season.

So, while they were basking in the sun and growing along happily, we were trying to stay cool  and trying to keep up with the watering schedule. I did wish, more than once, for a good rain so that I wouldn't need to water the garden. But, I suppose one must be careful for what one wishes. 

August 10


Mid-afternoon we heard the tornado siren go off. That happens sometimes when there's a storm watch. But, since we're within city limits, I take these warnings with a pinch of salt since the 'storm' never ends up being more than a heavy downpour with, if we're lucky, some dramatic thunder and lightening.

"Ah", I said to myself. "We're going to get a good downpour. How wonderful! I won't need to water the garden today".

Though, I did grab my camera and rush out the front door to get a few good photos of my front garden. Everything looked so beautiful and I wanted to capture my flowers at their best, before they endured the rain and emerged looking bedraggled with their petals knocked off and the like.


I took a couple of quick photographs and turned to go in just as I felt the first raindrop hit my skin. The sky didn't look particularly threatening, but I headed in anyway. 

Perennial garden bed
The last photo I snapped at 3.48pm before going in.

And just as I closed the door behind me, there was ominous howl as the whole house shuddered and creaked like I've never heard it do before. In an  instant, the outside turned into a sheet of white translucence, before it became menacingly dark as sheets of rain lashed against the house. For a moment we were caught in a feeling of surreality before the thundering explosions above us, jogged us out of our stupor (and stupidity) and propelled us to take proper cover.

Not stopping to see or hear more, we headed down to the basement to take shelter and check the news to see what was going on. 

It turned out that a 'derecho' had just roared into town. 

So, while we hunkered down in the basement for the next 30 minutes, we had time to learn more about derechos.

A derecho (meaning 'straight ahead' in Spanish) is an intense widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast moving group of severe thunderstorms. Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains and flash floods.


After the coast was clear, we emerged from the basement and made our way up to peep out of the window. And the sight that greeted us was unbelievable! We really were gobsmacked! Our entire back yard was covered with huge branches that the derecho had ripped off our sugar maple on the side of our house. One huge branch had actually flown over our yard and into our neighbors. Interestingly, the branches had fallen all over, but had almost by design, missed our yard furniture.

Aftermath of a derecho

Aftermath of a derecho

The calm after a storm is a truly amazing thing. 

The silence, the peacefulness, as if the earlier violence had never happened. As, we walked out to investigate further, scrambling over branches that were too heavy to move, it was the quiet stillness that  resonated loud and clear.

While we didn't see Mother Nature in action, to see the aftermath of the havoc she had wreaked was humbling. And to know that if I had dilly dallied outside any bit longer taking my photographs...brrrr....actually, I shudder to think what might have happened.

So, we spent the next few hours cleaning up with kind neighbors who lent us their power tools to cut down the fallen debris. On the upside, we had enough firewood to take us through the winter.

I did learn two lessons that day. One, take a tornado siren seriously.
And two, every storm passes. And the serenity that follows is a beautiful thing. Wait for it.


August 16, 2020

Backyard garden
One week later and everything's better than ever...

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