Tuesday, June 5, 2012
With a Sudden Gust...
...this is all that remains of my once-proud Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium).
I'll be the first to admit, Portland has some of the mildest weather around. Even though we get ample rain, it generally falls in gentle showers, often, as more of a "mist" than actual rain. This spring, however, in continuation of "Weird Weather 2012", we've actually had a few real storms. Okay, I admit, still nothing quite like those storms in the midwest, where it almost felt like the end of the world, but still...REAL for Portland.
Last weekend, we had what was probably the biggest storm I've seen since moving here several years ago. Amazing, except for the large Persicaria 'Red Dragon' in the front yard, nothing seemed to take any damage. Here you can see the garden last weekend...notice the large Joe Pye Weed (right between the porch pillar and the Miscanthus). In the past, I've always had to stake it with a network of twine and rebar in July, just as it starts to bloom...at which point it is well over 8' tall. In this photo, it has just passed 6'.
Well...we apparently had a doozy of a storm last night...and this is what I woke up to. every stem (well, except for maybe half a dozen of them) were snapped at about 1' from the ground. ARGH! I'm guessing the rain-heavy stems were hit by an sudden, strong gust of wind that just bent them.
Another view...these are the few stems that aren't broken...waaaaahhhhh! Of course, I had just planted a few Astrantia behind the Joy Pye Weed, since few other plants can deal with the shade it casts...and the EXTREMELY heavy clay in that area. OH well...I guess they'll be getting a little more sun now.
Of course, you, my fellow gardeners, understand the utter rage and frustration this brings on. I admit, I may have just started pulling the stems out by hand (venting), but did finally admit I was being childish and cut the rest back. Here's the result..."les sigh".
The only positive thing is that there are quite a few sprouts at the base of the plant. Guess what, little guys, this year, you get to grow! I left the 6 or 7 stems that weren't broken standing, but now think I'll probably cut them back too, might as well start with a fresh slate. Plus, I think if they are left standing, the plant won't be as inclined to regrow.
Here's the "After" shot. Poor little Joe Pye...he was so very handsome :-( Luckily, the plants that it collapsed onto weren't damaged to badly. One of my Echinops had it's top broken off...but there are plenty of those, the Astrantias were a little battered, but they'll recover. Sadly, my Shredded Umbrella was broken pretty much clean to the ground...I'll have to wait and see if it recovers.
Another before/after shot...oh well...at hopefully it will re-grow quickly. It's amazing how exposed our front walk feels without it now. Ok, the pity-party is over...onward and upward, right?