Tag Archive | Zinnia

Troopers: 1st January, 2019.

The weather has been relentlessly hot. Since Boxing Day, the daily maximum temperature has only once been below 35 degrees (to 34), and several times up to 38 and during all that time, only 4 mm of rain has fallen. Of course, there are places in Australia experiencing far hotter temperatures, but ours have been enough for me, thank you. Despite the not unusual climatic ordeal, my garden, which has been designed to tolerate extremes, has survived reasonably well with some watering. A thunderstorm is forecast this evening and a much more pleasant temperature of 28 degrees tomorrow.

This week I am focussing mainly on the troopers of the garden: those plants that belong in the unsung heroes category, the ones turning their petals to the sun and refusing to give in.

One:  Zinnias. It’s the first time I’ve grown these, and their germination from seed was gratifyingly speedy. They soon burst into a bright fanfare of colours, and I was so pleased with them I have planted more in the vegetable bed, having decided that growing veggies in the summer here is just too much of a challenge.

Two: Portulacas. I usually buy few punnets from the nursery, but these little gems also self seed. Once they are present in the garden, they pop up everywhere and there’s always a steady supply from mid December onwards.

Three: Agastache ‘Sweet Lilli’ and Salvia ‘Amistad’ don’t miss a beat in the hot weather. There’s a particularly prolific day lily across the lawn in the background too.

Four: My Eryngium has been temperamental for two years, and this summer is the first time it has properly flowered. Better still, I’ve noticed some seedlings dotted around so when the weather cools down a bit (a lot) I’ll transplant them. In the meantime, I’m thrilled with this heat loving plant.

Five: I think this is a Caper White butterfly. It’s relishing the nectar from our dwarf Escallonia hedge.

Six: A wheelbarrow load of homemade compost about to be added to the lemon and calomondin trees. It wasn’t a hot compost as described by the Propagator, (though you would think any compost would be hot during summer here), and it actually took quite a long time to break down, but I’m very pleased with it. It’s friable, full of goodness, and I have half a dozen more barrow loads left to disperse around the garden. Both trees (still only small) have many flowers, so I’m hoping for good crops of lemons and calomondins later in the year.

And there you have them: the first Six on Saturday for 2019. As always, do pop over to the Propagator’s blog to see what’s happening in gardening all over the world.

Weather today: Unpleasant. Hot, dry and windy, 20-37 degrees C.