It's so hot it's breaking previous weather records. When it's over 40 - that's 104 in fahrenheit - it's too hot to be in the garden, let alone do anything in the garden. It's too hot to go to the beach. And the water in the local swimming pool is so warm you might as well stay home and take a cold bath.
The effect of this summer is that the evolution of the garden is even more uncertain, experimental and transitional than before. When I look at the garden, I see it in one of its possible future forms: filled with indigenous and other plants, well adapted to a hot dry climate, forming a romantic picture.
I have no desire for a lush green garden that can only be achieved with lots of summer watering. I am drip watering selected plants. In their first summer plants need help establishing a decent root system. Other plants are on their own. If they die, it means they are either unsuited to the climate, or in the wrong position.
When people visit the garden, they see it as is now, not as it might be in some potential future state. A. hadn't seen the garden before. He said he liked it, and found it very austere. Nobody has ever called it austere before! H, who is in her early 90s, walked around the garden with a puzzled look. She didn't want to upset me by saying anything negative, but she kept saying: 'It's very dry, isn't it?'
Further afield, bushfires have already claimed houses and human lives. Lives of wildlife affected by the heat are not accurately counted. Not far from here is a colony of flying foxes. Hundreds dropped from the trees, either dead or dehydrated, in the last heatwave and another hot week starts today. Apparently when they're stressed flying foxes tend to cluster together, and end up suffocating each other.