Oh, the joy of a cooler week. Well, by degrees anyway, which is all we need. We have just had four days in a row under forty degrees and I realise that there is nothing wrong with me at all; I was simply suffering from too much January. A few cooler days brings a spring to the old shuffle, I have thrown away my languid ways and am full of beans again.
The cooler weather has been tempered by unusual humidity, something we are not used to out here. Luckily, the garden loves it, especially as we have been fortunate to score some storms, another 5mm yesterday afternoon. Apart from the lavender, which promptly turned black and split the scene, everything else is green beyond belief.
The Impatient Gardener and I are pretending this is how we always garden: casually forking over damp earth in long-forgotten places, dropping in a cutting here and there; pulling weeds with gay abandon, guilt free as no roots are left behind; tossing our heads back and laughing as we nonchalantly walk past taps and hoses. They know we will be back soon enough. Gardening in a drought, like childbirth, is quickly erased from the memory. This allows us to breed more gardeners.
We have had some pretty wild wind here as well, both with dust and the rain. Some mornings I think there are more trees on the lawn than still standing, well parts thereof anyway. I think the stress from the dry has made the trees more vulnerable, with plenty of dead wood waiting to fall. I would love to have an arborist to stay, to sort them all out. Or a tree lopper perhaps, some young blood who could scramble up and down with a chainsaw in tow and clean out the old trees. Mr. Moble has always been quick to volunteer for this job however the image of him on a fully extended ladder, precariously balanced on the fully extended tractor bucket (he claims he had it tied on), reaching out as far as he could with a chainsaw is a vision I have no desire to witness again. Ever.
I have just summer pruned my roses, heartened by the rain; a light clean -up to encourage some blooms going into the Autumn and I will fertilise them as well. I threw out lawn fertiliser in the rain this week. Now that is a sentence to make you smile, just like the lawn. Next on my list is a clean-up of the garden bed edges with a spade, then splash a bit of poison around, prune all the hedges and this old garden will be on its way again, with the usual requisite amount of squinting.
The vegetable garden will have a dig over and I will pop in some Silverbeet seeds, last year’s efforts are with me still however they have not summered well. Likewise, the zucchinis and squash (courgettes n’est-pas?) which will still have time enough to perform into the autumn if I pop some in soon. The tarragon and egg plants are still happy enough and will no doubt romp along now and I have somehow managed, for no apparent reason other than sheer neglect, to have maintained an amazing crop of sage right through the heat. I know they are meant to love the heat, hailing from the beautifully warm Mediterranean region, however there is heat and then there is western Queensland; it may have something to do with not looking out over the Aegean Sea?
I do hope some of you have managed a few sub-forty days as well and are feeling all the better for it. I also wish you rain and some well-earned tap relief, mine are the only polished brass here.
The Moble Gardener