Friday, October 30, 2009

Flora Grubb vs. The Storm

Part of my continuing series on our October trip to California…

Tuesday October 13th, the day after our visit to Flora Grubb, I woke up with “didn’t buy it” buyer’s remorse. I’d been hesitant to purchase anything at our very first stop (so many more places ahead!), but a little aloe I’d seen was haunting me, it was a good price and fairly hard to find in Portland. I realized I needed to get it and my sweet husband agreed to go back.

This was the same day that a huge storm hit the area, (24 hour rainfall totals = 2.48” in SF and 3.86” in Oakland), but hey, we’re Portlanders…a little rain is not going to stop us! Sheets of rain cascading down off the freeways and drenching the on-ramps…no problem! Child’s play in Portland! Puddles so deep they are even with the underside of cars as we worked our way through the toll booth on the Bay Bridge. Ok, a little deep for freeway driving but not impassible.

We finally arrived at Flora Grubb. The gate was closed. What’s up with that? I called them from right out side the gate... they were closed, due to the storm. What? What storm? A little rain? Closed? A retail nursery closed bacause of a little rain? I couldn’t believe it. Sure enough, the person I was speaking to was not on site, but the phone was forwarded and they got to convey the news. Whodda thought. That will teach me to buy it the first time!

Later in the day, after trekking through numerous downpours and puddles I turned a corner to see this…
These are heavy cement pots, tipped over by the wicked winds.
One of them shattered. Yikes.Okay so I guess the storm packed a bit of a wallop after all, maybe this was extreme. Garden Porn and the Germinatrix both posted about the rain, luckily for us the next day the sky cleared and the sun returned.


  1. Oh well I can't blame the folks at FG thinking no one was going to come out to their nursery during a storm! I mean, one normally doesnt think hmm, a storm is coming,I'd better head to an out of the way nursery today!
    One thing I have learned from traveling-if you see something you really want get it-as you will probably not get a chance again.

  2. Best part of your post was how accommodating your hubby is. He deserves some sort of "best of" award.

  3. Wow, your shots of the tipped over and broken pots do tell the tale! Too bad about missing the little aloe, but I guess the FG folks were being appropriately cautious.

    Can't wait to see what you WERE able to buy and bring home!

  4. Wow, that's a storm! They don't get too many of those, so I guess damage is to be expected when a big one rolls through. Glad you got across the bridge intact, hear they've been having a few problems with that span lately, eek. Sorry about the missed chance, maybe you can find it somewhere mail order or at one of your fav nurseries at home?

  5. Bummer... to go all the way back there to find it closed.
    However, our storms are quite intense. Sounds like you were not in the North Bay, where we receive the highest rainfall because of Mt Tam, ocean closer, rain collects... then cascades!!!
    It was very unusual for the city, San Francisco, and East Bay to get hit so hard. We often receive 6 inches, when S.F. gets barely 1/2 inch, and trees often crush houses in Marin county. C'est la vie in this beautiful area. Alice

  6. Nicole, you're right! At first I was totally shocked because really in Portland I can't imagine this happening. But it truly is a different thing in SF to have a storm like that.

    ricki, I passed this comment along to the husband...he agreed!

    Jane, I am reallysurprised at how controlled I was with my purchasing. Either I'm getting to cautious in my old age, or I am getting jaded by all the wonderful things we have at our fingertips here in Portland.

    Karen, we were quite surprised to read about the recent issues with the Bay Bridge. How fortunate we were. What do those poor people who have to commute across the bridge do when it closes?

    BATGT, thank goodness we were not in the North Bay! So I hope you weathered the storm without incident?


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