God Bless superfab blogger Cooper Green, for asking if the Skygarden survived the tornado that hit the Greater Toronto Area on Thursday evening.
Yes Cooper! Everything is fine here, and there was no damage to the Skygarden. I did lose a few nasturtium vines, but they are at the end on their blooming cycle and starting to die off anyways, so nature actually did me a small favour by pruning away the scraggly stuff. If anything, the deluge of rain helped a great deal after a week of high temperatures. Two days later, the Skygarden is still blooming strong, and a couple of lovely verbenas (at left) have made an appearance.
The tornadoes (five to seven recorded in total across southwestern Ontario) hit hardest just north of Toronto, in the communities of Vaughan and Woodbridge, where entire neighbourhoods were ripped apart. I certainly felt it here, but the damage was quite minimal - mostly flash flooding and a few branches tossed around the streets.
I got lucky - the winds came in hard from the west, so the plants were well-sheltered. I suffered a lot worse last summer, when a freak hail storm and high winds obliterated my garden in early August '08 and I had to replant every container.
Although the local media is making a huge deal out of Tornadofest '09, they're only doing so because this type of weather so rarely occurs in Southern Ontario. My heart goes out to the hundreds of families who lost their property to this storm, but I still think this was minor compared to the violent weather that residents of the Gulf Coast and southern/midwest U.S. deal with every single year. The last major weather system to destroy Toronto was back in October 1954, when Hurricane Hazel ripped the city apart and killed 81 people. This was nothing like that.