about this blog
This blog tracks the ongoing changes of my garden, and the wildlife I try to attract to it. It's a nature blog. It contains my thoughts and musings about anything and everything to do with nature - gardening, book reviews, philosophy, travel, science, history, art, design, politics. Catmint is my signature plant because it has all the qualities I value in a plant: resilience, beauty and the capacity to spread prolifically . Unfortunately it's not indigenous. If I was starting again I'd probably choose an indigenous plant.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
xtreme heat alert
Melbourne is experiencing a heat wave which is the worst since 1908. Today the temperature was 44 degrees centigrade - for you Americans this is over 110 degrees fahrenheit!!!!!!!!!! And this searing heat, accompanied by hot sun and hot winds goes on and on. This is the fourth day, with no end in sight. Maybe in a few days the temperature might drop to the 30s, but there is no serious rain forecasted.
The problems caused by this heat wave include electricity blackouts, public transport cancellations, the danger of heat stroke especially in the very young and very old and bushfires. But this blog is about my garden experiences, so I will focus on that.
It's a shocking picture. I can focus on the glass half full - there are some survivors so far. Established Australian native trees such as Leptospermum - tea trees seem OK, they are in shade and near the neighbour who waters so they might be cunningly stretching their roots under the fence. But even the buddleia and salvias that I thought indestructible are succumbing. Things that have at least some shade during the day have better odds for survival. Lavenders, santolina, wormwood and other grey leaved plants seem OK. As do the grassy lomandras, the baby Alogyne heuglii and the Adenanthos sericea or red Flowering Albany Woollybush.
But this crisis is far from over. When it is over, if I have the energy to continue the garden, I will have changed dramatically. No more relaxed experimentation. I will give serious thought to serious mulching and probably just grow things like fig trees and succulents. Although EVERYTHING needs moisture to get established. The banksia roses seem OK, except one that was only planted a couple of years ago, which is wilting fast.
Australia Day, 26 January, commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, when Governor Phillip raised the British flag, and N...
I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Amy Crumbs, who blogs at Crumbs . The Liebster Award is a fun thing, but it ha...
Sometimes I wish I had used a proper, professional garden designer instead of the painful, stumbling process of learning as I go. If I did ...
I have decided to make a list of the plants in my garden. For too long I haven’t really respected them as individuals, vaguely seeing them ...
Yesterday I dug up the compost that was ready and chucked it on the garden. The rest, for example semi decomposed sticks and phone books, I ...
This is the photo of my garden in the current guide to Australia's open gardens. It was taken last October. The foreground f...
There are an astonishing 22,000 species of Australian moths and only half have been described. This one, Macrobathra euryleuca, was ...
I saw the guinea fowl sculptures in a nursery and it was love at first sight. I knew guinea fowl came from Africa, and that kan...
What, me - impatient? I got really impatient at the slow growth of the Grevillea ‘Moonlight’. It didn’t seem to understand my need for ...
The Australian government website Weed Identification and Information makes it easy to identify weeds. On this Most Unwanted list I found ...
- Animal Rights Photography
- Atlas of Living Australia
- Australian Marine Conservation Society
- Australian Plants Society Victoria
- Avaaz - The World in Action
- BirdLife Australia
- Birds in Backyards
- Born Free Foundation
- Bush Heritage Australia
- Eco Voice: Voice of the earth
- Encyclopedia of Life
- Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
- Global Giving
- Gould League
- Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association
- New Internationalist
- Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
- Seedsavers: Preserving the genetic basis of tomorrow's food
- Stop Factory Farming of our Pets
- The Nature Conservancy Australia
- The Plant List