Let me start off by asking for your forgiveness for not having photos with this post! I'm having upload issues, but I have linked to the photos which have appeared here on #gardenchat and my blog as well.
Let's see now, where are we?! December is well under way already and there is so much to catch up with you about. The last time I wrote, I was spending the week before Halloween with Hubbs at our Northwestern NJ home in Zone 6a. (Click here). Autumn in the NJ Skylands and in near by Northeastern PA is spectacular and it’s our favorite time of year to be up there, even when it’s cloudy & dim like it was 7 of the 9 days we were up there this October.
Our great week was cut short by a Hurricane named Sandy. We spent that Friday prepping our Northwestern home and headed back to the Coast early Saturday to make final preparations here at the complex and for ourselves. Our 2nd hurricane in 14 months. It was unthinkable. The waiting for her arrival, which began sometime on Sunday and gradually built through Monday, only added to the fear. We lost power at 3:30pm on Monday the 29th. To a degree, that’s the worst; when you can no longer see what’s going on beyond your own windows. Monday night was awful. Overnight the winds were forecasted to diminish, yet they increased, gusting over 90mph again & again... You could feel everything shift, shake. The windows rattled. I felt the floor vibrating under my feet. I prayed we would still have a roof above us by daylight.
Thank God we didn’t have the rain with Sandy that we did with Irene. We didn’t flood this time after losing power (and therefore, the sump pumps). No structural damage either, aside from a few missing shingles on one of the buildings and some siding blew off another. I lost one of my arbors in the back yard, the one at the red gate with all of the morning glories & beans still growing on it. But that was it and we are so deeply grateful. We, literally right here, are so very lucky.
The destruction, locally and widespread, along the NJ coast, throughout NJ (and in areas on NY and CT) has been unlike anything we have ever experienced first hand and hope we don’t witness again. Utterly heartbreaking, though I’m still not sure that does it justice. Life changing. For a few brief photos, click here. (I recently made a decision about sharing my Hurricane Sandy photos publicly: I’ll wait. It’s too soon, especially for those who’ve lost so much. Some I will begin sharing after the holidays, others, I haven't decided when yet). By the following week, I still felt stunned, dazed, numb. It was all so hard to comprehend, process and explain. I attempted to try here.
Most of my garden was pretty twisted up and shocked into silence by Hurricane Sandy’s winds. And the snowy Nor’easter we had a week after the hurricane didn’t help matters much. I had beautiful Autumn colors in the garden, along with roses up through Thanksgiving after the storms. (Click here and here). I discovered a couple of Knock Out rose blooms this week that some how escaped the grasp of the off & on frosts. My pink Wax Begonia’s made it until yesterday. And the Snapdragons are still going strong! Snapdragons in December in the Northeast, who knew?! I’ve never been able to keep them going past Spring much less into December! (Click here).
We’ve surrounded my containers with fallen leaves and topped them off with fresh soil & mulched leaves as we do every late Autumn. One of the ‘Apple Blossom’ Amaryllis is about to bloom in the living room (click here) while other Amaryllis are just beginning to return. (I love to have them blooming off & on through Valentines).
I’m so glad to be back here with you! Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? Is your garden now at rest? Have you started (forced) any blubs indoors? Share with me in the comments below!
Until next time…
aka Bloomin'Chick. Wife, mother of an angel in Heaven, survivor; a real Jersey Girl. (What you see on those reality shows isn't real!) Writer, photographer, joyful gardener (coastal Zone 7b/mountain Zone 6a) & avid reader. Eclectic, creative & happily married late 30-something who lives at the sea w/her heart in the mountains who happens to be disabled with Seronegative Arthritis & Fibromyalgia. I blog about my passions & life at Diggin’ Around and my NJ at NewJersey Through My Eyes.
Be sure to catch more of my daily garden photo shares via #GardenWalk where you can see what's growing around the world right now & share your garden with like-minded folks!