a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France


After the Storm

Fallen ash tree

On Friday night 26 July a storm raged across the garden.

Fallen branches

The wind flew past at 150 kilometres and hour and 58 centimetres of rain fell.  The rain was welcome but the wind was scary.  We sat watching the spectacle with our oldest granddaughter.  The storm seemed to stay overhead for a long time with a constant flickering interspersed with impressive forked lightening.

Changed skyline

The next morning the garden was different.  The skyline had changed at the bottom but we didn’t notice the missing tree top immediately as lots of large Ash branches had fallen on the left hand side of the garden making access difficult.

Topped Christmas tree

The ex-Christmas tree had been summarily lopped.

Top of tree

The wind has made a very neat job and saved us the trouble as the tree is becoming over-sized.

Fallen branch

This was not the case for most of the fallen branches.  The fallen branches caused a lot of work and it took us four days to clear away the debris to the bottom of the garden, stacking the larger logs for  further cutting for the fire and smaller branches for a bonfire in September when burning in the garden will be permitted.  No possibility of removing the debris – it has to be seen to understand the quantity involved.  We haven’t had the heart to look too closely at the very bottom.  some trees are down and large branches will have to be cut up but we are too tired to start and we want to enjoy time with the grandchildren who are visiting.

Telephone line down

Across the road a branch of our neighbour’s Ash tree fell on the telephone line where it lay for over a week cutting us off from the Internet.  We did manage to check our emails once by going to MacDonalds.  Thank you, thank you MacDonalds.

We also lost our electricity during the storm, which is a common occurrence in France – a heavily wooded country with overhead power and overhead telephone wires.  We were fortunate and were reconnected on Saturday afternoon.  All those broad beans from this year’s monster crop saved!

Nobody was hurt in the vicinity and it was a fairly localised storm although random storms have been blasting all of France during this exceptionally hot and thundery July.  The Sunflower and maize fields suffered.

Herve's maize

The maize field at the bottom of our garden was flattened but the good news is that it is all standing to attention again!  Perhaps all the rain gave it strength to recover.

Fallen cross

The cross at the entry of the village wasn’t so lucky.

Fallen cross

I doubt whether it will be replaced.  It was quite a landmark with its magnificent lavender bush.

Please excuse the lack of communication on my part.