Tag Archive | weather

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:

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  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.
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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.

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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.

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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

Rain

   '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.