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Storm damage


By balcony


Storm damage

The ‘Black Prince’ variegated Geraniums that have been growing in a trough on the balcony railing all summer suffered badly a week ago when we had some very strong winds & some rain. These 4 plants had flowered magnificently all summer but they had grown too tall & lanky in spite of being in full sunshine from 11am till the sun went down all summer.

Although they were growing in a trough on the middle bar of the railings that surround the balcony on 3 sides it is difficult to see just what is happening to the plants. I wrapped chicken wire around the railings many years ago when we had 5 little dogs. This was to keep them from getting out onto the street which is quite busy. It also serves to hold up my troughs & pots. I can tie the troughs & pots to the wire & thus they don’t fall off with the slightest puff of air. But the plants grow through the spaces in the chicken wire which, generally, doesn’t bother me, growing as they like makes the display look more natural which is what I like. However in this instance it wasn’t as favorable to the plants as the stems grew taller & outwards. this wasn’t a problem till the strong winds from storms, (just days before the autumn equinox), ‘Ali’ & ‘Bronagh’, especially the latter, started ripping the leaves off the plants & even bending the stems so far back that they all but broke.

The strong winds & the rain also brought down the strings I had tied up from the top of the railings to the ceiling, which broke under the winds & rain & all my ‘Morning Glory’ plants came tumbling down.

As I couldn’t repair the strings I cut them all off at the top of the railings with the climbers wrapped around them & threw them away – much to my sadness. I had hoped they would go on flowering till the end of October, like in previous years, but it wasn’t to be.

Now I have lost the vertical component of the balcony & it all looks so flat & very open, which makes me feel vulnerable when I’m out there!

I cut back all the stems of the ‘Black Prince’ at the same time & used some of them to take cuttings! So I will have lots of plants of this Geranium next year! It roots very easily so not all is lost even if there will probably be no more flowers this year. As they say “Every cloud has a silver lining”.

The other 2 troughs of Geraniums, ‘Vancouver Centennial’ & the unnamed green & white variegated one, escaped the same fate as they never grew so tall & therefore didn’t get so many leaves torn off or their stems broken like ‘Black Prince’. They did however loose the majority of their flowers & some of their leaves were burnt by the strong winds.

The photos show what the trough of ‘Black Prince’ looked like before & after I had cut them back.

The photos show what the trough of ‘Black Prince’ on the balcony floor looked like on July 16th & after the storms had gone through. I don’t have a photo from later like in the one above.

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it is such a shame that the winds wrecked all you lovely plants. but at least you will have lots of cuttings for next year.

25 Sep, 2018


You are quite right,SBG! Next year though I will try & keep the 'Black Prince' under more control so I don't get a repeat of this year.

25 Sep, 2018


Pretty devastating! What a nasty shock after all your loving care.But you can now get a better view of the hanging baskets on the house wall and the geraniums are still looking good. And you have lots of space to get your spring bulbs organised so all is not (quite)lost.

25 Sep, 2018


That is a shame do hope you are not too down about the damage. Lets look forward to a mild winter and lots of cuttings making it through to next spring.

26 Sep, 2018


Just as well we are moving into autumn, Balcony. Some of my Hostas look pretty bashed and I had to restructure the Wisteria.

26 Sep, 2018


Can well understand your sadness, Balcony. You have always had a wonderful display. Just vow that next year's show will be your best ever!

27 Sep, 2018


What a shame. We never know what the weather's going to do to our gardens. I'm glad the other two geraniums didn't suffer as badly as the Black Prince and I hope the cuttings you took will give a good show next year.

28 Sep, 2018


Sorry to see the damage done by those storms ... it's very disheartening for you.

28 Sep, 2018


Thank you all for your comments.

I've put the Petunias back on the railings & some of the other pots I had removed because of the announced winds - the Morning Glory couldn't be moved unfortunately! So the balcony doesn't look quite so forlorn!

Still although the winds ruined the climbers it all boils down to my own lack of foresight! I removed the plastic covered steel clothes line I had used last year as not only was it sagging at the top but the vertical strings kept sliding down to try & meet up in the middle on either of the central spar that was meant to keep the line from sagging in the centre.

I found it practically impossible to cut the line to individual pieces I could then tie at the top & bottom thus impeding movement so it had to go as 1 piece (actually about 4 clothes lines had to be used & knotted where they joined). When I put it all up last year I thought I would never have to repeat the process again! I didn't count on them sliding down over winter!

To try to stop them sliding around when I first put them up I tied pieces of string or wire around the vertical lines onto the horizontal line at the top to try to hold them in place but it didn't work very well I'm afraid!

In late spring I took it all down again & put up string but I should have made it at least double not single. Up until storm Bronagh came along they had done the job well enough but between the weight of the vegetation, the rain & the extremely strong gusts of wind the string couldn't hold up any longer.

Next year I'll try & make it stronger so I don't get a repeat of this year's fiasco!

I have used the plastic washing line other years but it seldom lasts more than 2 years at most. I thought I'd hit the "jackpot" when I discovered the steel washing line in Wilko's! I'll just have to go back to using new string (double, at least!), every year in the future!

28 Sep, 2018

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