I haven’t posted a Six on Saturday for nearly two months. There hasn’t been a great deal to celebrate recently, as drought, heat, wind and water restrictions take their toll on the garden. Just now we are allowed to water on a day that corresponds with our street number (evens for us) from 6 am to 9 am and 6 pm to 9 pm which is a bit too generous in my opinion, considering the conditions and the visibly emptying lake about 30 km from us which supplies the town with its water. With that in mind, we’re taking our shower and washing up water out to the garden and we have stopped watering the lawn which is now very bare in patches, just slightly green where it manages to snag a little water from the garden plots.
Not all is doom and gloom. Despite the adverse conditions there are some plants in my garden that are defying the odds – after all many of them have been chosen to withstand heat and drought.
Number one, above, is Romneya coulteri or Californian tree poppy. I was warned that it would spread rather vigorously and that has certainly been the case, but who could complain looking at the gold-centred crinkly-petalled flowers (just like your breakfast egg) that attract bees which seem to love rummaging around in the stamens. Just look at those saddle bags full of pollen!
Two: This is a self-seeded Hollyhock from one that I planted two years ago. It should be tall and graceful but instead has grown into a quite deformed cabbage-like head. It’s a pretty colour and I’m surprised it has managed to flower at all although it receives reasonable water from the irrigation system, so perhaps that’s enough.
Three: The Drumstick Allium, Allium sphaerocephalon, also attracting bees, is another plant that seems to be quite comfortable with whatever the elements throw at it.
Four: Eryngium planum. I’ve waited a long time for this to flower successfully. Worth the wait, don’t you think?
Five: More surprises. These Liliums haven’t missed a beat which is astonishing given their delicate petals. A current of steel runs up their stalks, I think.
Six: One hundred km to the south east of us a bushfire has been raging for several weeks and has burnt nearly 200 000 hectares of bush. When the wind blows the smoke towards us, this is what happens. This photo was taken at 6 am, and the smoke remained for the whole day. In fact we experienced about five days when we didn’t see the sun properly at all. When the wind blows from the opposite direction, we have dust – Australia’s topsoil, off to the east. All our outside surfaces are covered with a layer of red dust and we can’t use water to clean it off. It would turn to mud anyway. If this sounds like a lament, it’s meant to be. Not for the dust around the house, but for this poor country which is suffering from a hundred years of land clearing and mismanagement of water resources, to name just two problems.
Six on Saturday is a meme hosted by Jon the Propagator. To join in or to simply enjoy what other gardeners are up to, follow this link.
Weather today: 17-32 degrees C. Sunny with a light breeze.