Après moi le déluge

I’ve always wanted to say that. Madame de Pompadour? Louis XV? It’s one of those pithy warning phrases that you can grab and turn into anything you please.

And for today I have to warn you that I have a deluge on my hands. A huge nasty hailstones-the-size-of-your-fist storm has lacerated the Ardèche and the Drome and my farm and garden too on Saturday night.

If you are friends on Facebook with me you will see a video my friend Elodie posted of Chalencon getting a pasting. Huge huge torrents of ice, hail and water gushing down the street.

(These are the handful of cherries I was going to use as an illustration of the amazing harvests we are having this year. Best juicy fruit for years. Hah.)

One sees the pictures and rather hopes that a freak twist meant that the mountain you live on was spared.

But no. Apparently a neighbour described our place as ‘confetti’.

So today I travel home. And I get to see for myself what I fear.

The tension is killing me. Actually that’s an exaggeration. But it made me think about creativity. And the perils of choosing such a live medium for your expression of art.

If you paint something it lives on a canvas. And unless a house burns down or it gets attacked, the art survives. If you design a building and have the joy of getting it built. The same. The chances are it will be with you.

But creating with live plants in a changing climate means you have the thrill and horror of seeing things get out of control. Some years that’s just drought and marauding wild boar. But twice now I have had the serious business of an utterly altered landscape. Once in November 2013 when we had the episode cevenol flood. And now this hail storm and flood.

Here is the shot of a new cutting garden bed which I crammed with sown from seed Agastache Liquorice Blue the morning I left. I’ll be regretting that! (I think I still have some in the potting shed. If there still is a potting shed.)

Being away means that all I can do is gnaw my knuckles and dread while I’ll find.

Mind you, there was nothing I could have done. Apparently the whole thing was all over in one mad half hour. And there are acres of precious things I would have wanted to save.

Well, I could have stood bodily over my most precious dahlias that I have brought on from tuber to lusty plant to almost blooming; but then I would have been struck by lightning and that always looks mortifying in an obituary. She died protecting the plant she loved.

No. Not a good look.

So do what I have been doing this weekend. Having a virtual Farm Tour by looking at images from all parts of the garden and marvelling at the progress and scope.

And that way you get to compare and contrast with what I find. Ugh.

Just Ugh.