Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Aeolian Woes

Last weekend I toured the garden checking for things to do before the ground freezes. The pergola caught my eye, and it occurred to me that the hurricane season had passed for this year without any wind problems. My forty foot pergola is built on the gravity principle: gravity is the only force holding it together. The strong wind yesterday revealed once again the limitations of that system. Today, all of the long runners and cross beams of the pergola are on the ground, blown down one by one in yesterday’s winds. The pergola piers themselves are still upright and wreathed in the collapsed tangle of climbing roses. This happened once before as the tail end of a hurricane passed through. I’ll be working alone as I attempt to put everything right, and past experience has shown me that it’s rough, painful work. As all real gardeners know, gardening is a blood sport. I’ve got enough to keep me busy for the next few weeks without the pergola problem, so the roses might very well spend the winter on the ground. If so, I’ll have to get them up before the buds for vegetative growth start to swell: once that happens, they will be too fragile to successfully withstand the rough work involved in pushing the canes back into position.

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