It's been a very wet year. I had kind of expected that after the Snowiest Winter Ever (actually, I think the winter only came in second-wettest, but that's still a lot of snow1), and the Five-Hundred-Year Flood, we were probably due for a Worst Drought in Recorded History to finish out the summer. This didn't happen; instead, we've continued to be wet, though not in a record-setting way. Just lots of thunderstorms, lots of wind and rain, lots of mornings where I arrive at work to find all the perennials, shrubs and trees laying on the ground and have to stand them back up.
Why does this pertain to our deflated cactus? Well, because: the roof of the greenhouse has a pair of vents running the length of the greenhouse along the ridge, which can be opened. And during days in the summer, they always are. All the way. At night, these are generally lowered part-way, so that if it should rain, the water will roll off the vent flaps, land on the roof, and roll off harmlessly into the alley. And that would totally work, if rain fell straight down, at a moderate pace.
Perhaps you see where I'm going with this.
But instead there are wind and torrential downpours of rain. So even when the plants are inside, we sometimes wind up overwatering. I'm actually a little surprised that this is the only cactus we've lost.
There have also been a few issues with mildew, particularly on the Gerbera daisies, for the same reason. And a lot of the outdoor plants have plain old root rot, though some of our rot issues could have been avoided had certain people refrained from telling me over and over that I needed to be staying on top of the watering, and ohmigod the plants can dry out like [snaps] that if it gets hot and windy out, and oh noes! I think I see wilting! so be sure and water water water.2
And then the slugs will speak for generations to come about The Great Dampening of 2008, which is a whole other issue. I want to like the slugs; I sorta think they're cute, how they're all formless and blobby and slimy and stuff. But I've found them on everything. In the greenhouse, out of the greenhouse, everywhere. And they're less adorable in large numbers, I gotta say.