The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

October Observations: The Wicked Wind of the West


Guess who’s blown into town? The Wicked Wind of the West, that’s who. A sure sign of Winter and what’s to come. She blows up our driveway like a jet engine down a runway and into the garden knocking down tall stems and makeshift tripods in her path. This nice tripod I had in my whiskey barrel for the Cardinal Climber to climb upon? Gone.


Snapped off at the base by Wicked-you-know-who so that I cannot even simply put it back up. Its broken remains in my shed for repurposing.

Are my vegetable beds put to bed? Nope. Are my “protect from freezing” birdhouses and such cleaned and put away in the cellar? Nope. Are all my bulbs in? Nope. Is the garlic planted? Nope. Still waiting for that perfect Autumn day of crisp air and clear sunshine. But Wicked keeps breathing down my neck – the bitch – and bringing with her rain. Cold rain, the kind I hate the most.

I write this to remind myself of yet another reason (excuse?) for not getting my garden put to bed. I always say I’ll clean up, weed, edge, mulch in Fall when it’s cool and things have died back. But then there were the spiders – BIG spiders with webs sometimes 2-3′ across! NO WAY was I diving into the bush to cut back that Forsythia – a MILLION spiders could have been lurking there.


And then it rained, and rained, and rained again. Sure it was warm but too wet. Frankly, too warm. I’ve sweat enough this Summer, thank you. I would like to be comfortably cool. And where was, is, that beautiful Autumn light? Now? Wicked Wind of the West is moving in and the rain is cold. Cold rain, boy do I hate cold rain – might as well s***. The only thing I hate more? WIND.

Not so long ago, Wicked Wind managed to blow over my rustic arbor! It has never been quite the same. I am propping it up now with a branch because it’s sort of leaning from the weight of the Trumpet Vine.


My rustic obelisks are also failing/rotting. One of them also broken off by Wicked herself a few weeks ago. I’ll be disassembling them both and putting up hard wire for things to grow up next year.


Bye bye rustic obelisks …

Even the Leaf trellis is beginning to get rickety – will it topple?


I fear the worst when I return from my migration – will anything be left standing? Still, I look forward to building some new rustic structures. I’ve got the system down – put up and stake into the ground with 3′ stakes! That’s how wicked Wicked West is around here!

Here is a view of Wicked Wind of the West blowing into town one day. No, that is not the ocean. It is the St. Lawrence River with yes, white caps and a view of Rock Island Lighthouse.


I will not miss Wicked Wind of the West during my migration. No, I will not miss THIS …

Upon returning for the Winds of March, I’m prepared. Our back porch which we have named The Board Room finally, finally is buttoned up with a real sliding door and windows! Soon, we will also have an operable wood stove. It will be something to look forward to upon returning home, and before Spring.


Next year, siding. More layers to keep the wind at bay.


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

19 thoughts on “October Observations: The Wicked Wind of the West

  1. Your photo of the river does look like the ocean! WW is so intent on taking down everything, isn’t she? I’m in the same spot with my garden chores. With all the rain, I’ve only raked leaves once. I usually shred them for mulch, but they must be dry to do so. I’ve never had a year I couldn’t get that done. So are the woes of the gardener. 🙂

    • Eliza today the sun is shining! Must have heard my woes, out to the garden I go. I think I have been whining too much. I seem to have lost my joy of gardening – I hope I find it again today – I have faith.

      • Hope you found it! Today was so bitterly cold and windy, I stayed in and cleaned my closet! Boy did it need it! 😉

      • Eliza I did find joy in the garden – I always do. I was blessed with visiting Evening Grosbeaks to start off the day! Then I was able to get my heated bird bath hooked up to an audience of Chickadees. I didn’t get much cleanup done in the Potager but I brought in all the non freezing baths, pots, houses, decor. Little by little …

  2. When wind like that starts blowing, there is nothing you can do outside. i stay inside with assorted hot drinks and hibernate under warm blankets. I do hope you get some nice weather before true winter arrives.

    • Deb, that sounds so cozy! I cannot wait for our wood stove to be hooked up so I can gaze upon the garden from our warm porch and read by the fire – with a blanket and something hot to drink! I am certain we have a couple of nice days left. The trick is to get things cleaned up and inside before the snow.

  3. That adorable photograph of the ‘turning Tulip Tree leaves’… lovely indeed…

  4. My son came home this Friday, so I missed this “wicked” post! Had his company till Monday, so we hung out with him which was a nice time.
    I don’t know but as the fall approaches , I get like this too about my garden. I just don’t feel like doing things. It is weird , I usually work myself till I am exhausted out there…but as Halloween approaches, the leaves fall + it is all about dead clean -up. I just can’t get motivated to do that much. We had our last 60 degree day today + I did put all the lighted torches away, glass objects in the garden beds put to rest in the garage etc. I know, leaves need to be mulched for beds..that is this weekend. I am not going away , so I have time.
    Your rustic arbors are so beautiful:-) Good to know you can make them again:-)

    • Well Robbie it is certainly cold and blustery outside but my husband is insulating our back porch and we’ve enjoyed several small fires – very difficult to bring myself out to the garden to work but I really want to put the beds to bed this Fall (and not wait until Spring). So, right after another cup of warm coffee and a snack, and maybe a few more pages of my current book … I will get out there! Ha ha …

  5. Love the addition…a great view. And I have not been happy about the wind either now blowing in cold and snow. Sad to see your rustic obelisks go 😦

    • I know Donna, I threw one into the brush pile Thursday but it will be fun to build something new. I think the wire will be much more functional although not as charismatic. The wind was really howling last night!

  6. Congratulations on your new enclosed porch! It will be a wonderful place to enjoy the colder months.

    • Thank you Jean – the porch which we call “The Board Room,” is the best seat in the house because it has a view of the garden. Our wood stove is in and we are enjoying sitting by the fire. We are migrating to Florida this winter but the porch almost begs me to stay, almost but not quite!

  7. Kathy, Your garden is truly beautiful! I’m visiting from Donna Donnabella’s blog.

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