I am not writing this complaining because I know just how lucky I am. I was home at the time this happened, got my 3 dogs and got into the closet until the crashing noise and shaking of the home stopped. We are all safe, not my roof, not my yard, but what is really important is safe! Nestled under Majestic Oaks in a park- like setting used to describe my back yard. Sounds like a Real Estate phrase, doesn't it? But, this was how I would have described my back yard before, after all gardening is one of my true passions.
I remember wishing that we would get some heavy rain to clean up and finish off the mess and droppings from the oak trees, which always got so annoying for several weeks each spring. Now here is a big lesson on being very specific on what we ask for. I never meant to eliminate totally all my Oak trees, just the droppings!!! As I begin to clean up the mess, I am thankful that my little Gossypium Barbadense (Egyptian Cotton tree), has survived the storm and is hanging on. I could see through all the rubble that it was still standing upright and had not gotten crushed. I was thrilled! But needless to say, when the "downed trees" were being cut up to remove one fell on it and it snapped in half. But this little tree is a survivor, I cut it back and protected it from being pulled out as a branch sticking up, and it is again getting some new growth.
Today I spent several hours out doing some more clean up. Buried under some overgrown plants in the one area of my yard that did not get crushed, I found this Orchid in bloom, what a wonderful surprise. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, it just took me some time to get here.
I am still "negotiating" with the insurance company on what will be paid to complete repairs to my home. I have had to hire an Independent Insurance Adjuster to negotiate for me just as you would have an attorney represent you on other issues. The first payment sent was returned and it is looking now like the payment for repairs will exceed 4X that original offer. Yes I have learned alot from this experience. First thing...never accept the first offer!!
This is part of what I did out side this afternoon. You are looking at my raised "Edible beds". Those little Everglade tomatos are still thriving, despite being crushed, almost to death. The last several weeks prior to this storm, I was thinning them out and giving tomato plants away, to everyone....maybe that was an omen.
Back to the fresh mulch. It is actually the mulch from one of the tree stump grindings. So as I shoveled the mulch into my wheel barrel, moved it across the yard, and put it down, I had the feeling as if I was distributing ashes from a love onto their final resting destination. Which it was in reality, this tree was my oak that was covered about 5 foot all around the base and about 12 foot up with Bromeliads. I originally planted about four plants around the base when I moved in to my home in 2002 to see what would happen.
This storm caused a loss, but again I will say I am lucky. The damage could have been much more horrific like so many others have suffered this year with tornadoes/twisters. I will have to get used to no shade and the beating hot sun. It will take time to replant and make my back yard pretty again, as I will! But I know it will never be the same and I know that. Out with the shade loving plants and as you can see I have gotten my first 3 cactus plants.
I will be fine, we will all be fine, but my message here is appreciate all that you have, and take photographs, because in the blink of an eye all can change....................