In the last few days I’ve heard from a client who had great swathes of garden washed away into a creek; another whose new home by the sea had its garage inundated, and a friend whose child was lucky not to be in bed when the ceiling directly above it collapsed due to water in the roof. My thoughts are with those north of us whose homes and properties are still in danger, and those whose lives and livelihoods have been severely impacted by our extreme weather and the resulting blackouts.
I’m grateful and relieved that we didn’t sustain any damage at home, and that the soaking rain has charged our soil, making for a very different spring from the early hot one we experienced last year. Today I took a closer look around the garden and reconnected with these little green friends…
Subtropicals: Although the makrut lime had lost a few leaves to wind and heavy rain, there was still plenty of new growth on it and the avocado. Both benefited from fences sheltering them from southerly and westerly winds. The old passionfruit had just been reduced to a few main branches last weekend, with the new passionfruit (planted last year) rearranged over the supporting wires as its successor. So this fence is much more sparsely covered than it was a couple of weeks ago, but new growth has started and hopefully by the end of summer it will be all green again – and fruity! And the baby macadamia and strawberry guava are waking up quietly, sheltered between daisy bushes and other small perennials.
Flowers & Herbs: The bees have been making the most of the sunshine, visiting flowers of borage, Greek basil, lavender and citrus trees, while hoverflies enjoy the daisies – and I munch the luscious petals of the first feijoa flower 🙂
Fruit trees: The mango tree has been flowering for a while now, and I’m hoping that some of the flowers set, as apparently they prefer dry weather when flowering. Oranges and mandarins seem to be trying to fruit twice a year at the moment!
Companions: The mustard greens here are a friend to carrots and tomatoes, by fumigating nematodes in the soil that otherwise affect the roots of those plants. The white shahtoot mulberry is going to be delicious in its own right, but its first job here is to shelter the baby cherry tree from harsh westerly winds and hot afternoon sun. It seems to be off to a strong start. Pigeon peas have been planted to provide chop’n’drop mulch around trees; and warrigal greens are sharing a wicking bed with the asparagus, both of which are raided regularly for breakfast.
Critters: While the bees have been resident here for a few years, the chooks are their new neighbours. The four girls are settling in happily, in spite of some brief flooding in their yard on Tuesday! The bees leave them alone, and are probably more troubled by a cheeky local wattlebird who likes to sit outside the hive picking off a few dozen bees in flight for a regular snack.
We will have a little open day in the garden here on Sunday 16th October, 1-4pm, and would love to meet readers of the blog for a look around and a chat. I hope this long weekend gives you time not just to attend to storm damage but to enjoy spring in your garden too.