Tuesday View–October 10, 2017

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared any news, but I haven’t had the heart. These photos, taken on Tuesday, September 12, the morning after Hurricane Irma crossed the Upstate, tell the story.

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View looking towards the carport from the front porch.

 

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Towards the house and carport from the top of the drive.
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And down the street, with our house on the left.

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The white oak from our garden that pulled down a telephone pole (seen just beyond the tree) with electric, cable, and telephone wires.

Irma, a tropical storm when it reached South Carolina, brought several inches of rain and wind gusts of 50 to 60 miles per hour, which was a misfortune for us and our neighbor to the north. Together, we lost six towering trees, and many smaller trees, including three eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) that provided a barrier between the two properties and a beautiful Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) beside our carport.

One of the largest trees in our front garden, a white oak (Quercus alba), toppled a telephone pole as it fell. So, we were without electricity for 4 days and had neither cable nor telephone (landline) for 10 days.

When you live through a storm like this, however, you count your blessings. No one here was hurt and nothing was damaged that can’t be fixed.  And soon after the photos above were taken, good neighbors arrived and helped us clear the driveway.

Many others suffered much worse and are still suffering, especially those in the Caribbean. Not only from Irma, but also Harvey, Maria, and Nate. Today, sadly, there is news of a new tropical storm, Ophelia, which is forecast to reach hurricane strength by Thursday.

In the next weeks, we will have 3 additional trees removed, since they’ve been left in precarious position. Then, repairs will be made and a new roof put on the carport and house. All should be in good order again before Thanksgiving.

Even today, when the sun finally broke through the clouds after soaking rains, I could see a bit of the old magic.  After just four weeks, the garden is already recovering its charms.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

 

 

 

61 thoughts on “Tuesday View–October 10, 2017

  1. Will Balk

    Oh, Marian! With devastation like this, comfort rarely comes from words – no matter how well chosen. Some comfort – and, thankfully, hope – can come from the resurgence of new life and recovery where none seemed possible. Hope, and the love of those close to us, carry us forward. Your domain still has its good bones intact. . . that’s a great start! Will

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Will–I think I’m still in shock. Seems I should be clicking my heels for the extra sun, but it is hard to gather yourself together after an event like this. I had big plans for planting the back garden this month and now everything is on hold until the new roof is installed. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Reply
  2. Beth @ PlantPostings

    Oh, Marian, I’m so sorry to hear about this. I didn’t realize you’d lost so many trees. This hurricane season is so crazy–my heart aches for all those affected. It sound like things are coming back for you, but sorry you had to go through all that!

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Beth–We know how lucky we are, especially when it could have been so much worse. A neighbor just up the street had a direct hit to their bedroom and now that part of the house must be torn down and rebuilt. Thanks for your sweet message.

      Reply
  3. Pauline

    It is so sad to lose such magnificent giants, I’m so sorry that you were caught by the hurricanes but relieved that no one was hurt and your houses are ok. Your last photo shows how resilient plants are.

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Pauline–Yes, it is sad to loose these big trees, but a surprising number had significant root rot or large cavities inside, so we’ve discovered many of the trees around us are at the end of their life span. It is really an unsafe situation. If we won the lottery, I think we would take most of the old trees down and then replant some, but not all. Thanks for your note, it’s a help to know others care.

      Reply
  4. Cathy

    Oh Marian, I am so sorry you lost so many of your magnificent trees. Thank goodness the damage was, as you say, fixable. Let’s hope the next storm weakens before it hits land and you have a calmer month ahead of you!

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Cathy–Oh yes, we are keeping a close eye on the next one. It’s in the mid 70s this morning, but the humidity is 97%, so it feels like a sauna outside. We all have our fingers crossed for more seasonable weather and an end to hurricane season. Thanks for your good wishes.

      Reply
  5. germac4

    The hurricane must have been terrible to live through….I do remember your lovely peaceful garden room with lots of trees around it, I hope the house is okay. Sad to see beautiful trees falling, but it is always amazing to see what survives. We had terrible fires many years ago, and it takes a long time to recover from it.

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Gerrie–Yes, the house is okay, only a little structural damage to the carport and the roof is kaput, but these are easy fixes. We are on a 3-week waiting list for tree removal, which has to be undertaken before repairs are made. As you would imagine, contractors are busy with those who have more pressing needs right now. We have to wait our turn. Thanks for your concern.

      Reply
  6. Meta Armstrong

    Good heavens! Didn’t realize your garden really took it! Wow! We were just without power for only 2 days. Wow! So sorry! And I understand you are coming to the Greenville Garden Club on November 1st .. Shucks! I will be in Charleston judging their flower show then on that Wednesday going to a special demonstration at Grace Cathedral on church flowers. Darn! Meta

    Reply
  7. automatic gardener

    I was wondering where you were and checked your blog a couple of times. You really had a wind event. I’m so sorry to see that you got hit so hard. We got Harvey’s water and almost no wind where I was, but many trees fell because of over saturation. I came out lucky this time and only a few plants drowned and the electric was out for hours instead of 2 weeks with Ike. I will be looking forward to see how you transform your garden.

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Auto–Glad to hear things were not too bad for you. Losing electricity is really hard. I was in Austin for a meeting recently and know many of those with devastating water damage are still in bad shape. It will be such a relief when this hurricane season is over! Take care.

      Reply
  8. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    Sorry to hear about all the storm damage. We are trying to get one tree taken down and two dramatically trimmed but are still about 9 weeks out. The tree trimmers up here are swamped. I’m a tree hugger from way back, but there are situations where you have to make that hard call to take some down to get them away from being too close to the house. We have a large oak that is way too close. We are going to trim it again but the day will come when we have to have it taken down for peace of mind. Stay safe and I sincerely hope everything is back to a new normal by the holidays.

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Judy–You are right, we see now how dangerous old trees can be. They can look healthy on the outside and yet be in terrible condition. If the tree in our front garden had fallen towards our house, rather than across the street, it would have been a disaster. Good luck with your trimming and thanks for your note.

      Reply
  9. Ellen

    Unbelievable photos of results from an unbelievable year of weather. I’m so sorry this happened but glad the new door is opening for you. I can hear your design engine revving up😊

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Ellen–Tim and I rode through neighborhoods recently to look at different roof shingles and saw there was a surprising amount of damage in this part of town.

      Yes, I’m starting to look forward to new possibilities, but I’m afraid the clock is against me. By the time repairs are finished, it could be too late to plant. Love your optimism though!

      Reply
  10. Nancy Shannon

    so sorry you went through that experience but thankful one of those trees did not land on the house. i hate to lose a tree. your garden has recovered nicely. have not heard about ophelia yet. have a nice fall in your lovely garden.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Nancy–Yes, very thankful we had no trees on the house! Tim and I were in the basement and could hear the trees going down and then feel the house shake…it was a heart-wrenching night. Every painting on the walls of the house was crooked the next morning.

      Hope to see you at the Gastonia MG meeting in November.

      Reply
  11. An Eye For Detail

    I’m wondering…did you do the tour to Phila. gardens? What a terrible time you have had, and we here in Chapel Hill barely had anything. I’ve thought of you many times and wondered when we would hear from you, but never expected this news. Take care Marian, of yourself and your place.

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Libby–Yes, two days after the storm I had a meeting in Austin, Texas, and then was home for just one day before the tour to Philadelphia and the Brandywine Valley. As hard as it was to travel at that time, being among friends was a great comfort.

      Reply
  12. Tina

    It’s painful to see stalwart oaks crashed to the ground, but so glad your structural damage is somewhat limited. You’re so right about the counting of blessings–that’s important to remember and practice. All the best with your repairs and re-gardening.

    Reply
  13. Sandra Smith

    Marian – All this and I was thinking the only reason you weren’t posting was because you were just back from PA! What a nightmare you’ve been through and continue to deal with. I’m so glad you all are ok.

    Reply
  14. Mary Ellen Bosworth

    Marian, It is so difficult to live and deal with the aftermath. 2 yes ago this month we had a large tree fall on the house and I still remember it like it was yesterday. In fact, with Irma I slept in our lower level for fear of another tree falling. My point in telling my story is that there is light at the end of the tunnel but it is not necessarily easy. However you will get there.
    I so enjoy your blog and hope I can travel with you in the future.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Mary Ellen

    Reply
  15. susurrus

    I was hoping against hope that you’d been spared any damage when I saw the path of the storm. I’m glad you are safe, and will be able to put everything right. Nature is resilient – the garden does look serene and lovely in the last picture. Unlike us, it can’t remember the bad days or feel concerned about those to come.

    Reply
  16. Martha Strain

    Marian, so glad to hear your cheerful, positive thoughts on recovery for your garden. Can’t wait to see your planting choices as you move forward. I know it will be beautiful.
    Martha

    Reply
  17. Frogend_dweller

    Oh wow. That’s a lot of heartache to get passed, but so glad you are all OK. Hope that your remedial work means that Ophelia etc. leaves you unscathed and that you get to enjoy ringing in some changes.

    Reply
  18. Plantsandbeyond

    What a pain and financial investment to remove so many trees . Very sorry this happened to you. We are still waiting for pool screen repair . Apperantky there are state wise shortages of screen material?!!😳😳😳 although very happy to be alive and breathing . Have a great day.

    Reply
  19. Amy Henderson

    Marian, I don’t have words. You have been on my mind lately and now I understand why… Was going to reach out to hear your Fall planting plans… So it’s to be a roof instead, for now… Nature sure showed who’s boss… Awesome in the true sense of the word. — — — Amy

    Reply
  20. johnvic8

    Glad you are okay. Losing an oak is always difficult to bear. But, who knows, you may now have a sunny spot to put that sunny plant in you have been wanting. Aren’t we fortunate to have good neighbors!

    Reply
  21. Brenda

    I don’t really have words but my heart goes out to you. What a terrible storm season–so much devastation. Keep your spirits up however you can. You will have a different gardening palette come spring, which may be a nice challenge. Hang in there.

    Reply
  22. Brian Skeys

    We were thinking of you all while watching the devastating effects of the storms on the tv over here. We have friends in Florida who thankfully escaped without any damage to their property just to the trees around them.

    Reply
  23. Christina

    What devastation but you are very positive in your view of the damage. The most important thing is that no one was hurt; a positive for me was that you showed some beautiful different views of your garden. I hope the next hurricane doesn’t reach you.

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Christina–I’m hoping for an upside later, when there is more light in the garden! And thanks for your good wishes…we will all sigh with relief when this hurricane season is over.

      Reply
  24. Sharon

    Oh My!! I can’t find words to express how seeing the photos scared me for you! A miracle that your House & car weren’t demolished by those gigantic trees, and that you & Tim weren’t hurt. I can’t imagine dealing with all of that. It may take a little longer than you were hoping to get new garden plans in place, but you will….and I know it will be fabulous!

    Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks!

    I am feeling a little better every day 🤗

    Sharon Lanier

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Sharon–In the current frustration with contractors, it’s helpful to remember our blessings and how lucky we really were. Thank goodness we had a safe and secure basement.

      So glad to hear you are feeling better. Looking forward to seeing you soon…and enjoying the cooler weather headed our way:^)

      Reply
  25. I love you guys.

    I am so sorry Marian and Tim. It reminds me of when we had 50 trees down here from an ice storm. There are things in nature that are so difficult. When the Spring comes again, there will be a sort of resurrection. Perhaps our God decided there should be a little change. We would probably be bored with perfection.

    Reply
  26. rusty duck

    Oh your beautiful trees! Your Cornus especially, you know how much I love those. But you are safe and that is the most important thing.
    Ophelia took a right turn and is battering us today. It is so frightening seeing those big trees sway as they have done. They look as if they could snap at any moment. I was out (briefly) trying to stake things but it got so scary I retreated back under cover. Like you I feel so much for those who have been hit worse than us. If this is 50 mile winds I can barely imagine what 150 must be like.

    Reply
  27. Chloris

    Oh my goodness Marian, I have got a bit behind with my blogging and didn’t realise you have suffered such devastation. How terrifying to have such a storm and to lose such beautiful trees. So glad that you and your home are safe.

    Reply
  28. Marian St.Clair Post author

    Chloris–Yes, the summer horribilis has stretched into fall, but things finally seem to be on the upswing. Fingers crossed! Plus, I have to admit I’m loving the sunlight. Good to hear from you.

    Reply

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