25 September 2012

Wind damage

What we had overnight between Sunday and Monday, besides the bat scare, was a real storm. Winds were very strong from the southwest — probably 60 mph / 100 kph — during the night. They were gusty all night and all through the day yesterday.

The wisteria just a few days ago...

I went out late in the afternoon with the dog and looked around to see if there was any damage. Some of the tomato plants and stakes are leaning, but that's no big deal. The squash plants were kind of blown over too, but that's no big deal either. I didn't see any big tree branches on the ground.

...and how I found it yesterday afternooon

It was only when I was coming back down the garden path after the walk that I was faced with some damage I didn't expect. The wisteria that we planted five or six years ago, and that has grown quite a big, had been completely blown down — despite the wires Walt put up to support it on the back wall of the house. We hope we'll be able to put it back up and that it will survive.

This is what the wisteria looked like in April 2011.

Not today, though. There's a steady, hard rain falling this morning. And we have company coming tomorrow.


  1. Oh no. That's sad about the wisteria. I hope you can get it back up and growing.

  2. Ken, don't worry... it WILL survive!
    Actually the method for decorating a house that is wisteria covered... is to cut the wisteria away from its supports and lay it on the ground.
    You then do the repairs and have the fun of fixing it back up afterwards.

    An aunt of mine did it to hers along the major part of the front of her house in Norfolk... she said "never again!", and decided to replace the horizontal wires with 1" chicken mesh, tied strongly to a thick steel rope fixed just under the eaves, then tied in to the old horizontal wires that were three foot apart horizontzlly and vertically. That way she reckoned that she could get someone in to dismount it the next time.
    I helped with the remount... it took two days to fix it back all along its length... but it was huge. And, if it was cut back down, would have taken many years to get back to its former size.
    Yours should only take about half an hour.

    We had a couple of tomato plants that needed tying back but it sounds as though the further North you went, the worse it got.

    The weather station is recording 21mm in the last 24 hrs, and the actual "it's got water in it" plastic rain guage [which I stoopidly didn't empty yesterday, has 26mm since Sunday.
    But thank goodness the winds have dropped.

  3. Gosh, that's quite a surprise. It was gusty here, but I haven't noticed any damage. We had to drive home in Célestine through part of it - that wasn't much fun.

  4. Ken, such a shame to see the plant on the ground like that.
    Tim, that sounds like a fantastic idea for fixing the wisteria.

  5. Ellen, it is really only a good method if the plant is huge and would cover the mesh. Just think how horrible Ken and Walt's would look if their house had a mesh wall... no, wires on a wall like this, but with lots more tying in points, perhaps?

  6. Tim, thanks much for all that information. We'll put in some more eye hooks as tying points and heavier wire. Our guests arrive tomorrow but just for a few days so we'll be able to work on the wisteria next week.

    Susan, our geographical location has a lot to do with the wind we get. The vineyard, running east-west, produces a wind-tunnel effect, with our house as the target.

    Ellen, Meredith, it is a shame but now I feel sure we can put it back up and save it, when we get time and the weather allows.

  7. Wow, that must have been some wind!

    I'm hoping you'll keep us posted on the repairs that you eventually do.

  8. In teresting about the east/west wind tunnel... that's what this valley creates.

  9. Once a wisteria has established
    itself, I think it's almost
    impossible to kill it. Just a
    lot of "housekeeping" to do.

    And so how are the leaking
    skylights holding up with all
    this rain and wind?

  10. Sheila, good news: no leaks so far. And it's raining again now. Maybe Monsieur Abeillon was right when he suggested his solution. Fingers crossed...

  11. From the picture, it would seem Walt could re-string the wisteria and all should be good....until the next high wind.

  12. Hello Starman, I've examined it now and I think the problem is that the support wire broke. We need to use thicker, stronger wire, and as Tim said, put in more support hooks or rings to tie the wire to. In wintertime, when we have high winds more often, the wisteria won't be as vulnerable because it won't be covered with leaves to catch the wind or hold rainwater and weigh it down.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?