Sunday, February 17, 2008

Perth's summer heatwaves.

I haven't written anything for ages because it has been far too stinkin' hot to do anything in the garden.
This time of year I water as little as possible, just enough to keep important things alive; rarities in pots, a few herbs, the frog ponds and tubs all topped up and the occasional new seedling of something that wants summer heat to get started.
This is when the concept is handy of putting the propagation area both near a tap and somewhere that you will almost trip over it everyday so you are reminded to water the tender little dears. Start at the back door, so each time you go and look at the garden there are the plant babies in their small easy to let dry out pots.
This house has no reticulation or watering system, except the hose. I think retic systems make people too separate from the gardens making watering too easy and things happen in the garden that can be missed, like a pest or disease infestation.

Gardener's holiday.
Gardener's holiday, we call it. High summer. 35C highs for 4 or 5 days at a time. Too hot to bother being out there, except in the shade of the beautiful Gleditsia. Sure I could be growing lots of veges - though last year I found the capsicums didn't enjoy the extreme high temperatures anyway. if I had fruit trees they'd be happy, but it just takes forgetting to water a couple of times and your good work in small herbs and annual vege growing becomes dust and mulch.
It really brings out the fact that perennial plants are the way to go; you can get them established with the rain in winter and only need to look after them sporadically during the hot season. Deep soaks once in a while in summer can get the right things by.
Perennial veg' such as asparagus are good. Short term perennials such as silver-beet and chives are handy; long season crops like leeks and onions can grow throughout summer for use in winter, so there are things going on, they just don't get much of my attention.
The figs and grapes are happy though - again given little help but we have fruit from both.
A few of the native plants i put in are going well, many flowers will come in autumn, I am hoping.

It did actually rain the other day, quite well, not the disastrous flooding that is going on in Queensland. It was welcome relief after the consistent 30C plus days we'd had for most of 2 weeks previous.I was happy as it meant I didn't have to use any of Perth's tap water on my garden.
Tomorrow I am back at uni; currently a little nervous about starting chemistry...quite scared in fact. It is the maths fear.
When I am feeling stressed, it will be good to be able to look out the window at my low-water use garden and consider the eventual outcome of my learning fears and successes - to help restore degraded landscapes and encourage effective water use and reuse, using all the principles I have learned in permaculture and from just staring at the garden and thinking about it.

1 comment:

flowergardengirl said...

It's winter here in NC, USA--and cold. We are having a drought this year. We were under water restrictions for quite awhile. I lost a lot of plants. Most of the annuals bit the dust. But you are correct, perennials are the way to go. I think most of mine will come back. I'm going to move them to my new house. It was good to read your blog. Makes me feel like gardeners have the same struggles no matter where they live. Hope you cool off soon.