We are having a brutal summer. In Australia we have a tendency to think we have a monopoly on hot weather, and of course, we don't, but just now I'm feeling a bit put-upon in the garden. We've had a string of days in the high 30s and only 9.5 mm of rain in January so far. Today the temperature is forecast to reach 38 degrees and an uncompromising breeze is gusting, bringing with it a tang of smoke from the Pilliga, we're told, over 300 kilometres away, where a huge bushfire is raging. Around us there are storms, but you have to be lucky to snag one, and just now the clouds seem to be intent on wandering off to rain elsewhere.
Despite the water we've put on our garden (always thinking of the water bills), many plants are struggling in the unrelentingly sweltering days, even the toughest ones like the oleander, the echeverias and the salvias. I've only had this garden for just over three years, so the trees I've planted (some of them are mistakes: why did I plant silver birches in this climate?) are not tall enough to provide shade yet.
I know it will rain again eventually. In the meantime, mulch is the order of the day. And more water, I guess, while we wait and hope for a storm.