Our region experienced an earthquake this week that surprised us all. Earthquakes in this area are not very common with the last one over 75 years ago. I have never experienced an earthquake, and it was very strange to literally feel the earth move beneath my feet. The odd part of it was that I did not really know what actually happened until it was almost over. I, my family, and my cats are fine. Only a few small items are broken from the shaking. And when I checked the garden, nothing was damaged at all. Even the garden statues remained standing. Still, in that chaotic and tumultuous event, the garden remained tranquil.
A day ago, we had a severe thunderstorm that left my house intact but my garden in complete disarray.
There were leaves and branches strewn all over the lawn, the deck, the patio, and the garden.
And a huge branch of a very tall oak tree fell inside our yard breaking a fence post and damaging some of my plants.
The branch must be about 20 feet long--almost the size of a small tree. It crushed a milkweed plant and a Buddleia alternifolia (spring blooming butterfly bush) with its force and massive size. A small Duarte peach tree also was crushed. They only appear damaged, so I am grateful for that. It could have been much worse. In other areas, fallen trees landed on parked cars and roofs.
My husband and I attempted to move this very large branch into the woods beyond the fence but it was much too heavy. We will need to use the chainsaw and cut it up into small pieces this weekend.
My tranquil garden does not appear to be tranquil at the moment with all of the damage from the storm. However, I know appearances are not everything. As I walked around inspecting the damage, I noticed the bees and butterflies going about their business as if nothing had happened.
The plants also seem to be carrying on--reaching for the sun and swaying with the breeze. Nature has a way of showing us how to adjust to the upsets and the lulls, to simply go on. I will try to take that lesson to heart as hurricane Irene approaches and threatens more upheaval, but I will be yearning for my Tranquil Garden.
©Michelle A. Potter