Tag Archive | weather

Rain and Dust: SoS December 15


One:  The sky is the colour of the inside of an oyster shell, much paler than it appears in my photo, for reasons that I don't understand.  It isn't fog, or mist, it's dust.  Dust which has been present for two days.  It couldn't be called a dust storm, more a dust drift.  Australia's topsoil is drifting away.  Off to new Zealand. Mudgee town and the hills for which it’s renowned are in the background of this photo, but they're covered in a parchment shroud, and the hospital is busy with people experiencing breathing difficulties.

The dust drift follows a few days of most welcome rain (45 mm and a Christmas beetle in the gauge), although some folk nearer the coast received more than they wanted.  My garden gratefully absorbed all that it could which is good, because the next week promises highs in the low to mid 30s.t


Two: How have I not admired this plant, Ballota pseudodictamnus, before?  It has been thriving  in the garden for at least three years, through heat and drought, and I have callously ignored it. I gathered some for a vase last week and examined it properly, noticing its felty calyxes with their central buttons which look like something an aspiring milliner might attach to a hat, or an upholsterer to a button-back chair.  An insouciant topknot completes the picture.

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Three: A new rose, the RSL rose, bred by Meilland International,  with its deep burgundy and amber petals.  Some of the proceeds from the sale of this rose go towards supporting veterans and their families.


Four: Ornamental pomegranate flower; frou-frou worthy of a prima ballerina’s tutu. I took this as a cutting from our previous garden and was very pleased when it grew.  It's another plant that wants to be a shrub, and I want it to be a small tree.  I'm not really winning that battle, but I'm quite happy to keep removing the suckers.


Five:  Figs.  Will they be ready by Christmas?  I hope some will, at least!

It will be a problem keeping parrots and bats away, and although I dislike the look of nets and know they impede the growth of the tree, I’ll have to cover this tree soon, or there’ll be no figs left.

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Six: Another plant that deserves a closer look:  Scabiosa stellata 'Drumsticks'.  It's new to the garden this summer and although it has rather insignificant flowers, its papery seed-heads are ping pong ball sized spheres with purple starfish inside patty pan cases. The sunlight is catching the trace of a shower in this photo.

That's my six for this week. Gardeners from all over the world are joining in Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator.  Do join in and see what they are doing in their gardens.

Weather today: 16 - 30, and it would be sunny if there wasn't so much dust.

SoS: September 1: Still frosty.

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Today is considered to be the first day of Spring in Australia, although technically speaking, real Spring doesn't begin until the equinox on 23rd September.  It seems, however, that Winter hasn't quite finished with us yet here, in the Central Tablelands of NSW.

We've had some rain, a good amount for us, and a cold front swept up from the south, bringing with it cold temperatures and frosty mornings.   The evidence is featured in my six this week.


One:  Frost crystals on a viola flower.  It never ceases to amaze me how these delicate little flowers can be bowed down by frost and yet after the sun rises, they lift their heads and carry on with their day as though it were the balmiest of weather.

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Two:  Frosty broccoli leaves.  I like the way dew drops have frozen into pearls along the edges of the leaves.  These plants have been in the ground for many weeks and I'm beginning to wonder if they'll ever have flowers.  It seems to me that by the time they do, it will be time for us to be eating salads!

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Three:  Erigeron glaucus 'Sea breeze', recently planted, so I'm glad it's holding its own during the cold weather.


Four:  Iris reticulata, also planted earlier this year, and these are the first flowers.  First is 'Dijit' and second No ID, which means the packet just said Iris reticulala.   I think these petite irises are delightful and look forward to them proliferating over the next few years. Clumps would be good.


Five:  The first two Narcissi to appear.  On the left, 'Replete' and on the right another No ID.   Many of my bulbs were planted last Autumn and are making their first appearance, so it's exciting to see their flowers. But there's no such thing as a host yet.  Thanks Mr Wordsworth for the burden of unrealistic expectations.

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Six: Someone else was finding the mornings cold this week, as he searched for seeds on our cream-coloured frost-bitten lawn.

That's my six for this week.  Was it cheating to add so many frosty photos?

As ever, our leader the Propagator, is hosting this very popular meme.  Don't forget to visit his blog to find out what other gardeners from all corners of the globe are doing in their gardens.

Rain Tumbled Down

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Rain fell today. We had 27ml of steady rain, not the sudden over-in-a-minute kind, but the sort that sinks into the garden and refreshes. It was a proper Event. The hills behind our house were enshrouded with mist, as sombre as the grey sky, and the rain tumbled down for most of the day.

In town people were jubilant, exclaiming about the wet weather to complete strangers, stepping happily around puddles and enjoying using an umbrella for the first time in ages. There was a perceptible feeling of positivity in the air. It's always like that when there's a good fall.

By the afternoon the clouds were clearing, the last tendrils of mist were creeping up the hills and the sun was making an effort to break through. Remnant raindrops clinging to leaves were glittering jewel-like in watery beams.
I won’t have to worry about watering the garden now for some time as the weather isn't hot enough to dry it out the way it does in the Summer.


Six on Saturday, March 31st.

Welcome to another Six on Saturday. This is an exciting meme where gardeners can show what's been happening in their patch during the last week. Any six things, on a Saturday. The Propagator is the host of SoS and as always you can go on over to his blog to see what everyone else is up to.

It's a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same here. It's been a week of cloudless sunny skies and warm temperatures, but at least now the nights are cooler and there's actually dew on the grass in the mornings.

Time to do some planting then:

  1. A thrilling little group of plants arrived by post this week.  Eryngium 'Blaukappe', Verbena bonariensis, Achillea 'Terracotta', Achillea 'Salmon Beauty', Salvia nemerosa 'Violet Queen', Potentilla 'Hamlet' and  Clematis Integrifolia are waiting there on the table for me to plant them.  I may well have taken a leap of faith with the clematis, having had no luck with them so far, but I'll find a shady spot and keep my fingers crossed.

2. Bags of bulbs, also waiting to go in.   Some I've bought locally and some rather more interesting ones have arrived by post. I'll be planting them under my perennials so that they'll be seen after the garden is cut back in winter and before the perennials start to grow back in October. I hope.


3.  Salvia 'Indigo Spires'.  Cut to the ground in January, back to full strength by March.

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4. Proof of how hot our summer has been: this pittosporum tenufolium 'Golfball' has become severely browned off.  I can only assume that since it has been watered quite regularly, the reason for its unhappy state is the extreme heat.  I'm hoping it stops sulking soon and greens up.


5. I planted the Gazania Tomentosa on the left as a small sprig, but it became  a garden thug that I was  forever  having to cut back.  It intimidated two Hebe 'Marie Antionette' and became a haven for kikuyu grass escapees, so it had to go. No more thuggery. On the right are the replacement plantings: Potentilla, Verbena bonariensis, Tulipa  clusiana and Tulipa kaufmanniana  to start with.

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6. The cotyledons are beginning to come into flower. This is the first of them and the first flower I've had on any cotyledon since I planted them nearly three years ago.

Weather today:  cloudless, sunny, 16-29C


   'Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.'  Bob Marley

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In it came from the west, muttering and grumbling as I watched anxiously, hoping it wouldn't do what it so often does: bypass us and go off to dump somewhere else. I've seen this happen so frequently this summer,  as I've obsessively checked  the radar online, that I've made myself  believe the forecast only when I see the rain in the gauge.  Seems topsy-turvy I know, but it's a bit of a safeguard against disappointment.

This time though, we were lucky.  And when the rain fell, it fell thunderously, copiously, gloriously. Fat, splashy drops.  Curtains of rain.  Gutters flooded. Our water tank (not a very large one) overflowed onto our neighbour's side path and the lawn outside the back patio was drowned in water. And I remembered how we built a gravel path across the back of the garden a couple of years ago,  because we couldn't walk across the lawn to the studio without getting our feet wet.  We haven't  had to use that path for a long time.

'It never rains but it pours' is an axiom that certainly applies to the weather in these parts.  While we've been lucky to have two such weather events in ten days (delivering 60 mm or over two inches), a friend who lives only 30 km from me has received a paltry amount of rain. You just have to be lucky.

How immensely uplifting it is to venture out into the garden and see that  exhausted plants are already invigorated. The lawn is greener too.  All the tap watering that can be done is never as efficient and life-giving as the water that comes from the sky, and there is plenty of  warm weather left for more growth  to take place before the cold sets in and everything closes down for the winter.

A slightly bedraggled garden begins to recover.
A slightly bedraggled garden begins to recover.

After the excitement of rain,  we are almost back in Summer mode again: a week of temperatures over 30 degrees awaits us. The overnight lows are a bit cooler though,  we can pull a cotton blanket up over us at night, and the garden gets a rest and time to recover a bit before the next hot day.