A Day Without Flowers


This post might have some pretty garden photos, but there was nothing pretty about what happened yesterday. It started the day with temperatures in the elevated 90’s and a record low of 77° to end the evening before.


We had high winds and sustained rainfall that blasted our area and left quite a bit of destruction. Basements were flooded with raw sewage, the Norway Maples were topped and split, and roof tiles set sail in the wind. The lightning storm lasted for a few hours laying waste to gardens and backyards.


I lost my glass-topped iron table, and the heavy tempered glass top shattered in the garden after flattening the plants in its path. The iron shepherds hooks bent to the ground and the beautiful hanging baskets in the backyard were destroyed. The two out front made it through the storm. The garden plants where prone and many broken.


There was no warning of the storm to come, and weather reports were far off the mark. The blast of high winds and thunderstorms downed power lines and prompted electricity outages in surrounding areas. Neighboring Ontario issued a tornado warning that did not materialize and the notice was lifted.


In the city, firefighters were dealing with reports of sparking power transformers, arcing wires and trees blocking streets. Especially on our street, the crews were out in the pouring rain starting cleanup late last night. We have not had rain and this rain did little to help the gardens. To the contrary, it did much destruction.


This leads to a recent study noting that the month of June continued the string of consecutive warmer than average months to 340. The study was done and the data compiled by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The “World Meteorological Organization found that nine of the 10 years between 2001-2010 were among the 10 warmest years on record for the globe.” You might want to take a look at the report or read the summary article here.

While not completely attributed to the high temperatures, the storm severity is getting much worse here and around the country. Sadly, this may be what is in our climatic future, with 340 previous months to support such a prediction.


Needless to say, I did not go and photograph on garden walks this weekend, but will have a nice garden coming up tomorrow.


The reason the red rose is in this post is because there were few flowers or even leaves left on the rose standard. The poor bees had a hard time today foraging for food. After doing flybys of the petal free flowers, the bees kept coming to the few that were remaining. Plants that remain untouched were the small asters and Coreopsis. All the daisies, Delphinium, and Perovskia were broken off at the base. Hydrangea also was badly damaged. I did not lose any trees, but the pear was blowing over at a very scary angle. Next week… more thunderstorms are predicted.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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61 Responses to A Day Without Flowers

  1. Im so sorry about an awful day, this worlds weather has gone crazy. Im so glad you wernt injured, but sorry about the damage.
    Your bee images are stunning and a real pleasure to look at, I adore bee photography and youve nailed these.
    Fingers crossed you dont have too much more damage.

    • Thank you. No one was injured that I heard, but no one would have been out in that lightening. My husband wanted to pull gutters, but I told him not to go outside. The lightening was far too close. One neighbor said it hit one street over.

  2. I am so sorry your garden was damaged. Those beautiful hanging baskets! I would be heartbroken. We have had some intense storms but I guess we are lucky that we have not had the kind of storm damage this year that you describe – yet. When will the country as a whole wake up to the need to tackle climate change? Don’t all the CEOs, (starting with the ones in insurance, real estate, and construction), realize what the cost of the current trends will be if we continue on our current path?

    • What a mess. I am going to be cutting back everything laying over tomorrow. I spent a long time cleaning up glass. I was surprised with all the big trees down, that my neighbors awnings held up. The wind just sheared off tree tops. These severe storms are uncommon here too, but in the last two years, they have been increasing. Flooding is pretty rare and all of our neighbors had up to 18″ of water in the basements. We had about 8″. Many local areas had severe flooding. We miss it outside because we slope down to the gorge.

  3. Hope says:

    My goodness! I sure am glad you’re OK. Your photos are breathtakingly beautiful. Such talent!

    • Thanks. I believe there was no one hurt that I have heard. It is a miracle too with how fast it came on and all the trees that fell around the area. Branches came down the size of full trees in our neighborhood. I was a bit surprised to see no 90 foot maples completely down. That has happened in the last storm.

  4. CC says:

    Take care. So thankful for first responders!

  5. So sad.
    We had one come through Concord NH going 85 MPH and destroyed everything in it’s path.

    We got a good heavy drenching but temps 99 to 100 again for the 6th day in this streak 😦
    Saddened for your bees.

    I heard we would get tremendous storms as well today but so far not a drop they seem to be slipping to our immediate south. I swear our river makes them head just a mile south and a mile north most times and when we get one we get it.

    We have weather reporters who have us under severe thunderstorm warnings so often many do not heed them any longer.

    Stay safe
    Sorry for all your material loss I am glad you are OK though.

    • We were supposed to have more storms today and luckily they did not come. They have been wrong quite a bit lately in predictions. Yesterday the warning came just when the worst of the weather hit. They also said where it would hit was undetermined. I never saw that before. We have had the same as you with the predictions of thunderstorms. I too ignored it when they said showers and breezy. I was not home to save the hanging baskets or I would have put them in the garage. I never thought the table would tip though. That was what caused the most damage. The baskets at least fell on grass.

      • I have come home to my yard looking as if it had been ransacked flowers her and pots there like someone did it on purpose but I have not enemies lol well maybe the ex lol but he could care less about plants or me after 15 yrs or I hope not 🙂

        These storms are crazy or we have better communication or none when it comes to your damage and NH nuts they never said chance of straight line winds

        Our world worries me when I see all of this crazy stuff happening.

        Stay safe

  6. So sorry to hear of the storm and damage to your garden. We’re glad that you and the family are OK. Broken things and squished plants are a pretty big bummer, and water in the basement really suck, sorry. Best wishes for a swift cleanup.

    • Thanks, cleanup is going to take awhile for some neighbors. The basement really gets scary when water comes in like a geyser. We lost the hot water tank, but luckily, my husband is a union plumber. I heard neighbors had it much worse than me. One a tree came down in the backyard and took out electric, cable and phone, slicing wires in half at one house. I was surprised that did not happen here as the Mulberry tree behind my house is dying and laying on wires now. It makes me appreciate I don’t live in the Midwest with all the tornadoes, or even down South with hurricanes. Winds create such a mess.

  7. So sorry to hear of the terrible storms and damage to your garden. The weather has certainly gone array. We’ve had a terrible heat wave this past week as well with lighting this evening like I haven’t seen in along time but no torrential downpours yet…but maybe to come over night. Glad to hear noone was hurt. Mother Nature has been very unpredictable lately.

    • I agree. When the weather agencies can’t tell where a storm might be most damaging, that really tells one something. I was so surprised they said the where was undetermined. It looked less severe on the radar maps I looked at during the storm on the internet too. All is calm today and we are supposed to have a sunny day in the upper 70’s. Way better than the upper 90’s like it has been.

  8. bittster says:

    Sorry to hear about the destruction, I hope things get cleared up fast and it’s soon just a distant memory. Beautiful bee pictures btw

    • It will. People were out all yesterday and I bet will be today too. Neighbors were helping neighbors to pick up debris. The backhoes were here yesterday removing the huge branches from the street. They will be back again too for the ones in peoples yards that can’t be removed by manpower.

  9. Lost Roses says:

    So sorry to hear this. It’s so disheartening to see the havoc wreaked by a freak storm. Good thoughts while you get things cleaned up.

    • I was going to take photos of the mess, but then thought that would look like a news report just showing damage. One good thing, there were no people crying and looking like those that face bigger damage, like tornadoes and hurricanes. The neighbors were pretty upbeat considering some were without utilities and have to look at roof replacement. All we lost was hot water. Glad for that.

  10. Yikes Donna , glad it wasn’t worse and you all are okay. Margie

  11. Wow, I heard you had storms, but I had no idea they were that destructive! Sorry, to hear it. Clean up after a bad storm is no fun, and it sounds like your damage is quite extensive. Hang in there, Donna. If I lived closer, I would stop over and help.

    • Yep, when cold fronts meet warm fronts, look out. I think that is why they were unsure in their predictions until the storm was actually occurring. Last storm, three fronts met up and that was worse. Ironically, that storm did less garden damage, but then again it was in early Spring too.

  12. Emily Heath says:

    Sounds terrifying. What a shame about the table. Hope the bees can cope with the loss of flowers, and that your plants bounce back quickly.

    • I am sick about the table, but can get a new top for it. The one chair fabric is ripped so that needs replacement also. The plants will grow back, so no permanent loss there. I have to say, seeing the bees buzz around the broken flowers really touched me. All the Monarda was flattened so the hummingbirds will be without flowers too. I do have feeders for them though. Just last week all the insects were happy, but now they will be looking elsewhere.

  13. cindy knoke says:

    Completely brilliant. Such clarity!

  14. janechese says:

    I love the comings and goings of the bee, a much endangered species and so important to our welfare. I enjoyed the wonderful colour and depth of field with sharp focus where it is. The storms are more violent all across Canada as well with flash floods across the country. It will be a tough time without the colour and damaged crops that will shoot food prices even higher. Some of the gardening experts in this area are going to the flooded towns to help restore what they can.Like the others have expressed, I am glad you are safe.

    • I was at a huge commercial cut flower farm on Friday when the storm was just starting. It is 60 miles from my house, so I had no idea it was happening at home. We went out into the big flower fields and the wind had broken off 50 percent of the flowers already. I can only imagine that they sustained huge losses by the time the storm subsided. That is there livelihood too. My tomato plants blew off their stakes, and tomatoes were rolling all over. Each plant did have one viable stalk left, so at least they will still produce.

  15. rebecca says:

    Other commenters expressed it better than I can. I can only imagine the fright and then the sinking feeling you experience as you look over the damage. It must be difficult to know where to start cleaning up!

    • The way the weather has been worse in the last few years, one starts to get used to the damage it causes. We don’t live in a place that ever really gets weather damage, so this is kinda new for us in the last few years. It has been getting worse and worse with winds and downpours.

  16. Debbie says:

    Donna, Mother Nature has certainly been unpredictable lately. I’m so sorry to hear about your garden but it sounds like you were very lucky compared to some others. Our garden had been damaged heavily in the past few years from freak off-season snowstorms. While the damage is difficult to take in the beginning, the garden does heal itself quickly.

    • I was rather fortunate compared to others in our area. We too get winter storms that are damaging. It comes either from ice or heavy snow. It is most damaging on the trees, often destroyed by splitting as a result.

  17. I am so sorry to hear about this ! I can imagine your heart bleads ! The weather is changing all over the world, it is so sad and upsetting as it is not changing for the better !

    • I really do believe the world is headed for major climatic change. Just Friday, I was talking to a person that did not believe in climate change. This really astounds me that there are people believing it is normal weather cycling and nothing more. Whatever is predominantly responsible seems to be picking up in speed too.

  18. Sue says:

    Severe storms are becoming more common in central CT too. I miss the the days years ago when it just rained-long soaking beneficial rain without all the damage and drama. Garden damage is so disheartening. Fortunately the garden is reslient and property damage can be fixed. What’s most important is people and pets are OK. I’m sorry you suffered so many losses. Hopefully recovery will be quick.

    • I know! I too remember those long soaking rains. The things will be fixed and replaced, and the plants will regrow next year, but hopefully weather patterns return to normal and this is not the new normal.

  19. Carolyn says:

    So sorry for your loss Donna. It’s heart warming to hear that “neighbor is helping neighbor”. Tragedy often brings out the very best in us. Hoping the little creatures can adapt.

    • The younger neighbors were doing the cleanup for the older neighbors. It was a nice thing they did. The mayor lives on our street too and helped an older couple get their electric restored. It saved their food and got the AC back on for them. The mayor also issued a state-of-emergency in the City to allow the workers to get power restored and crews access for cleanup. The only good to come from the storm was the temperatures dropped to the 70’s.

  20. A.M.B. says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been having such destructive storms. It probably comes as no surprise to you that my area is also suffering from an increased number of violent storms. I’ve lived in the Philadelphia area my entire life, and I feel like we’ve had more tornado warnings in the last three or four years than in the previous twenty-eight combined. We seem to have a thunderstorm almost every day at 5 PM (just in time for rush hour!). It’s also unbearably hot. Not only are our current weather patterns uncomfortable and destructive, they are a very ominous sign about the health of our environment.

    • I know, I have been hearing from my friend how much rain your area has had all spring and summer. You also had big swings in temperature. I am certain these high temps are bad for health, especially the elderly and poor. There were cooling centers set up so people could get relief from the high temperatures and humidity. Something is telling us something when communities have to go to these extremes.

  21. Oh, Donna, I’m so sorry about this. It must have been awful seeing your babies helpless out in the storm. I hope thunderstorms quiet down soon. Be safe!

  22. Patrick says:

    Hey Donna,
    So sorry to hear of your travails. Hope the glass table didn’t shatter into a thousands. When the perils of nature have slammed my garden. Turn, Turn, Turn plays in the soundtrack of my mind:

    A time to kill, A time to heal.
    A time to gain, A time to lose
    And a purpose to everything under heaven.

    Does it work for you, my friend?

    • I like that song too. Yes, The table did what all tempered glass does, explode in a million small pieces. I may never get it all cleaned up since it went between all the boxwood. Now I have glass mulch!

  23. What a possitive attitude you in the last comment! I am sorry for the damages in your area- Here the temperatures and humidity are escalting and is really dificult to be outside, they say is normal summer, but I think is happening something everywhere. Take care.

  24. barbie says:

    Oh how soul-destroying! I follow the weather patterns around the world and I have to say these storms crossing the USA have been devastating! Never mind the temperatures! We are facing new challenges and difficulties! Your garden will bounce back! Sorry to hear about your table:-(

    • I too have been interested in weather around the globe for a very long time. I hate reading everyday where areas are at extremes or wild fires have started. What a shame for all living creatures, not just us. You are correct…new challenges await.

  25. Pat says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of the damage to your beautiful garden.
    Your photos of the busy bee and the surviving red roses are lovely.

  26. Wow so sorry to hear about this…this area and east has had the severe storms and flooding for a while…we had a weeks break but more rain coming although not the flooding. We did have a bad wind/thunderstorm here Friday with lots of power outages..we were lucky. I think the extreme weather storms and patterns will be our norm.

  27. Storms like yours are so destructive. I’m glad you are safe and sound. Gardens can be replaced but people can’t.

  28. Mac says:

    So sorry to read this.

  29. Reblogged this on srobertson3us and commented:

  30. Brian Comeau says:

    It’s a little scary as a parent sometimes to read all about these types of events. I’m definitely concerned about how common they are becoming. Hope everything is ok around your area now.

  31. Fergiemoto says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the the storm damage. Glad you are ok.
    The bee shots are just wonderful!

  32. I’m glad we got to see your gorgeous hanging baskets in a previous post. It would take a mighty wind indeed to flatten shepherds’ hooks!

  33. I had no idea you had such violent storms last month. Crazy weather.

  34. sharonftaylor says:

    Busy summer, and only getting to read now of your storms last month! We had the same here and we lost our patio set. Not a single warning, the storm just ripped through. Calm one moment and the next moment violent winds! It looks as though your garden recovered beautifully though!

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