An unexpected surgery and lengthy recovery kept me out of my garden for a good portion of the summer.  My loving husband and boys got in the garden boxes to weed when I couldn't.  Garden experts @gardnhelp gave me advice on proper feeding/fertilizing of my tomato plants which grew large, but with little to no fruit.  I did what I could with limited physical activity and a schedule that never seemed to stop with family activities and work.

I admit I have had only small hope for the tomato plants to actually provide a crop because less than a 1/4 of them even have green tomatoes on the vines.  The rest are just big, green and gorgeous.  The peppers (all kinds), carrots, onions, corn and lettuce have all been flourishing.  With little help from me most of the garden seemed like it would survive.

The metro area has been underseige by rain and severe storms this summer.  July was the wettest the area has had in eight years.  The garden loved most of the rain and our house had been spared the onslaught of slicing hail and winds that blew off leaves, until yesterday.  When I got home from work last night, after dark, I could tell the corn stalks were shredded.  Blindly and gently I touched the tomato plants only to have chunks of leaves fall into my hands and onto the ground. 

This morning I took pictures.

The shredded corn stalks with the tomato plants now entwined with each other and with the corn stalks.

Closer look at the shredded corn stalk leaves with growing corn still there, but I have no idea if they will continue to die with every leaf peeled a part in strands.

The broken tops of one of the tomato plants.  They all look like this.

The holes in the pepper leaves caused by the hail.

The broken leaves and stalks now cover the ground.

Even with the damage to the pepper leaves, I do think most of the plants will continue to provide fruit.  As the tomato plants were blown around so violently, it seems they also provided some coverage to smaller pepper plants.

Row of pepper plants with some damage, but no damage to the fruit itself.

Anaheim and New Mexican Big Jim JalapeƱo peppers that seem to have been protected from the storm.

As sad as I was by the damage, I am even more grateful there was no damage to the house or to the truck. 

There's always next year to garden.