Monday, July 18, 2011

The Icky Stickies Part Two

There's poor Ernie, getting whompered by the rain and wind.
My coverage of the week (or more!) of yucky weather continues.  That's right, tune in here to see how a Wimpy Wisconsinite deals with hot weather.  I can attest to the fact that, along with the heat wave, the local meteorologists have been happily predicting Pop-Up Thunderstorms (which sound much more fun than they are in reality) and they have been occurring just as predicted.  'Pop-Up Thunderstorms' sound cute, don't they, like something that should come in a box with a crank you turn while a catchy little tune plays?  Someone forgot to tell the storms they were supposed to be cute.  They haven't been cute at all, in fact they've been downright sneaky and quite the windbags, too.

 This was the view out the window this morning...a very heavy thunderstorm came blowing on through around 9AM.  We had a storm last night that dumped over an inch of rain and then this morning we had another inch, so we're not short on rainfall, anyway.   The wind was really something with both of the storms, though. I held my breath and picked up both Teddy and Pudding dogs at one point in case we needed to make a mad dash for the basement.  I've never wanted to use that famous movie line, "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."  Luckily, I didn't have to; the storm passed almost as quickly as it came.

I went out with the camera to survey the damage.  It wasn't too bad, thankfully.  Trees are amazing things, how they can bend so far without breaking.  I wish I was that flexible.  The first thing I checked on was Ernie. I was watching him from the house when the wind was whipping and it didn't look too good.  Here's how he looked on Sunday:
And here's how he looked 24 hours (and two thunderstorms) later:
Oh, Ernie, I'm sorry, I just can't protect you from this mayhem, you're too big.  The lightshade urns and the flower pots on the fenceposts were all safely tucked in the garage Sunday night so they were protected.  That's the problem with having so many planters and stuff, along with watering it all, I always haul them in whenever rough weather threatens because that way I'll have at least something left alive for visitors to see.  We do have a few Red Hat groups coming to tour in August and a new blogger friend from Texas who is also coming for a visit (I'm so Excited!!)so I need to have at least a few flowers left  in one piece.

Let's see what else is going on after the storms...
These lilies are the 'Amazing Leaning Tower Lilies of Pisa' which is the Latest Thing in new plant forms.  Don't you just love the way they grow?
They used to be about 4' tall, but now they're within reach of the ground, just right for the shorter-statured gardener.  (I was amazed that these lilies' stems did not break with the incredible load of flowers that were open.  I picked one stem for me and the other for Mom, they are now in the house in a vase.)
 Right next to the Leaning Tower lilies was the styrofoam urn which was just fine.  I was figuring I'd have to run a mile down the road looking for it, and here it sits, not even a leaf out of place---and this is out by the road!  Our mailbox  was actually turned on the post facing east and this planter is less than ten feet away.  Weather phenomenon never fails to surprise me.  The Denver Daisy stood just fine, too.
Oh dear, this doesn't look good......those are trumpets lying all over the back lawn from---
the Trumpet Vine.  It's fine, but it's missing a few from the horn section.

 Then I got nervous, what about the lilies a few feet away?  I have never staked them and they are taller than me, over 6'.  They look ok from this vantage point....let's get closer:
Oh, good, they're fine.
They're sweating too, just like I was taking these pictures, but they're still standing.  Did I ever mention that I love flowers in bud almost as much as flowers in bloom?  There's just something so promising about buds, like presents under the tree at Christmas.  (Ok, so I'm weird.)

The lilies were looking good, but oh, poor Annabelle!
Whoops, that's what I get for pruning her down to close to the ground this spring, she was weak in the knees and fainted at the first sign of the storm. 
Annabelle was looking so good the night before.  Poor girl.  I guess I can dry the blooms for winter now.  Note to self: Don't prune hydrangeas so short--it makes their stems weak.
Rounding the corner into the start of the Woodland Bed, sound the alarm....Lily Down!  Oh, well, more for the vase, along with this one:
Strange these lilies took it so hard, they really are in a sheltered location behind some cedars.

Then I got to worrying about my farm renter's corn crop, but after looking it over, looks like every stalk is just fine.  (Well, I can't vouch for every stalk, but most of the several hundred thousand corn plants look good to me.)  
Just think if I had to obsess over all of these plants the way I do over the measly few in the garden?  I'd never get any rest.  Can you imagine staking them all?

And not to poke fun at non-farming folks, but we had some visitors stop in a few years ago and one lady asked me about the 40 acre cornfield just across the lane from us, "Wow, you must LOVE to eat corn!  I've never seen anyone plant as much of it as you have!  Do you freeze it or can it?" 

(Things that make you go "Hmmmmm.") 

I explained it's not sweet corn, but field corn, but I know it didn't make sense to her, she was still looking perplexed until I said, 'It's a special corn for the cattle to eat, it's not the same as sweet corn meant for people."

She stared at me for a moment and then said, "Well, if it's only for cows why do you grow so MUCH of it?   I think it would look nicer if you had some other plants, like tomatoes in there-- instead of all that corn."
There's always a critic in every crowd.

 Let's turn Ernie's bald spot to the back.  It's like a comb-over.  Nobody will notice.  I promise.

Not when there's some corn to look at in the foreground.  (Ok, it's Millet, and it's ornamental, but it does look a little like corn.)

I suppose I could stick a tomato in there somewhere, too.

It might look nicer.



Sue said...

Oh, poor Ernie....but he'll recover under your loving care in no time at all.

The rain is always welcome, but the winds----now THAT can stay away. You seem to take it all in stride. Amazing!

FlowerLady said...

Oh Karen ~ You have such a wonderful sense of humor. I just love coming here to read what is going on there at Quarry Gardens. I'm never disappointed, and leave feeling refreshed and inspired.

Glad the storms didn't do too much damage. We had a thunderstorm blow over here last evening, wind and LOTS of rain. I haven't gone out to check things out yet this morning. It feels a bit cooler out, and the sky looks clear so far.

Hope you have a nice day.


Lona said...

LOL! Oh dear let me wipe my eyes and try to comment. I am laughing my head off about the corn saga.
Looks like for the most part your garden made it through it all pretty well.
We were hit yesterday afternoon with four inches in an hour. I never seen such hard rain.There was flash flooding in the valley below us. I was surprised this morning on my garden walk about that many of the plants were still standing. Maybe they are getting use to monsoons in Ohio. LOL!
Well one thing I will not have to drag the hose out this morning to water the plants. Instead I was going around dumping out the water in some of the containers.
Ernie will get his hair in shape and his bald spot will grow back in. LOL!

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Lona said...
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El Gaucho said...

I pity what would happen if that lady were to ever see where all that feed corn ended up. She might faint at the sight of all the cattle in a modern day feedlot.

As a fairly new Upper Midwest resident I'm greatly impressed by the pop-up thunderstorms too. It's amazing how ferocious of a wind and incredible amounts of rain can happen so quickly. We were on a garden tour this last weekend and made it back to the car with mere seconds to spare before getting pummeled with rain and wind and hail. Exciting!!

Cass @ That Old House said...

My brother used to rent farmland to someone who grew birdsfoot trefoil -- now try explaining that to a visitor!

I giggled all the way thru this delightful post! Poor Ernie! I rather like him in his current rugged stage ... he looks like he should be saying, "But you oughta see the OTHER guy!" We like a few scars on our men.

As always -- a wonderful visit, and just amazement and awe over your incredible plantings and gardens. You da man. Well, if you were a man, you'd be da man.

PS My sister's Lab Ernie had knee surgery this week - not a good week for Ernies I guess.

Alison said...

The weather is a mystery. Glad you didn't have any trees come down, also that you didn't have to go into your basement with the wee doggies.

I'm a city girl, but even I understand about the corn. Had to laugh. Some people.....

Ernie will recover, and I bet those lily stems are smelling your house up now. (I love the scent of lilies, but some people don't).

I also really love flowers in bud! I thought I was the only one. We can be weird together! Hope you get a break in the heat soon. We actually had a story in our local paper today about the horrible heat wave going on in the Midwest.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen,

The Annabelles will flop no matter how you cut them. The people down the street from me do not cut them at all and they tie them up every year after they flop.

My Persicaria is like this and I am really considering giving up on them. They look good until the first storm and then they are all over even with propping them up.


Anonymous said...

Poor Ernie, but I really feel for those lilies, shot down in the prime of life. Oh my!

Barbara Rosenzweig said...

Your comments about the corn really had me laughing!

Thanks for appreciating my church painting and understanding my goal to preserve it.

Cally said...

Just came across your blog. I love how you've named your plant Ernie. We've also had plant squishing rain and thunderstorms (worst I've seen in my 40yrs). But I have to say, even squashed your garden looks incredibly lush and beautiful, and no doubt many of the plants will be perky again in no time at all.

Junebug said...

I'm so glad they all survived the storm, minus a few blooms. It's it funny how we will turn plants so company or passer byes can see the good side and we get to see the icky side. It really should be the other way around. I'm still laughing about the corn! Always love your pictures, I feel like I'm taking a walk with you! Hugs today!

Tufa Girl said...

Ah, I love city folks. At my former job we had a windmill in the landscape. As I was giving a potential customer a tour of the grounds, she pointed to the blades of the windmill and asked,"Will you have the fan blowing that night?"

In the weather extreme department I have resulted in large patio umbrellas (staked into the ground) for shade over some of my plants. Why wouldn't that work for Ernie?

Zoey said...

Oh, Karen, I could almost cry seeing all that damage...poor Ernie! I bet he will look fine in just a few days.

field corn??? Hmmmm, I bet that's what all those fields of corn are in my area. I never gave it much thought before. I know nada about veggie gardens!