Feb. 2013 garden report: a tale of heroic survival
The short break that I planned morphed into a sabbatical. During this time I did much musing about the blog. To blog or not to blog wasn't exactly the question. It was more like how to blog and still have a non-virtual life outside cyberspace. The answer I came up with is to stop trying to blog with clockwork regularity.
|Euphorbia, unknown species, Cotinus coggygria 'Velvet Cloak', Plumbago|
So ... the blog, like the garden, continues to evolve, in directions not anticipated or planned in advance. I strongly suspect this may be the end of another beginning, or the beginning of another ending. When one is so involved, it is hard to be sure. We only know for sure what happened after it happens. And even then there may be different points of view that blur the picture...
|Echium candicans 'Heronswood Blue', Derwentia perfoliata, |
Calochlaenia dubia - Rainbow Fern that couldn't take the heat, Dianella caerulea "Cassia Blue
I was away for almost the entire month of February, and apparently it was unremittingly hot and dry, with bushfires uncomfortably close to Melbourne. I returned home expecting to find the unwatered, largely unmulched garden was a disaster zone.
Well, I have the greatest pleasure to report that most plants survived heroically! The few that didn't make it were planted in totally inappropriate spots, or were recent transplants that didn't have a chance to get their roots down properly before the heat hit.
These photos were all taken on the last day of February, officially the last day of winter. Whatever that means now that the abnormal is the new normal. The plants received no water at all during those weeks of intense heat with no rain!
|Salvia officinalis, Liriope muscarii, Nepeta 'Walker's Low', Erysimum cheiri|
1. Don't pull plants out even if they look dead - they may surprise and thrill you, with their resilience and determination to put out some tiny green shoots.
2. Try not to despair (like I do) when the garden looks terrible, usually in between seasons. Try to remember that after a tidy up and a bit of re-arranging, it will look good again.
|Lavatera maritima, Euphorbia characis, Mint, Lychnis coronaria|
After we returned it rained heavily for two days and two nights. A perfect time to fill in the gaps in the garden.
Yesterday, when I dug a hole, the lovely black moist soil was only about 8cm (3 inches) deep. Just below the surface the soil was pale grey, hard, and dry. But that is for another post ...