garden

A Good Rain, Just What the Garden Wants

It’s been forecast in the past, but didn’t eventuate, but right now I can hear, see, and smell the good rain, pouring lovely water down all over my garden! It’s falling on the driveway too, which doesn’t need it, but that’s OK, the garden is happy and that’s important!

Screenshot 2019-05-19 at 2.01.30 PM

When you have a garden, you have responsibilities to the plants you have planted, if yo want them to do the right thing for you. Too little water can mean plants die, it’s a simple fact of life (and death). Too much water can kill a plant too, of course, and I’ve been told by a horticulturist I hold in good stead, that kindness (in the form of too much water), is the main reason household plants die.

With rain, there is noting I can do to stop the garden from getting too much, but, because of where I live, there is little to worry about regarding having too much water, unless I mistreat a plant.

I recently lost a plant to having too much water, due to my lack of thought. The plant was a Calla Lily, and I loved the strong green leaves the pot plant had, and looked forward to seeing it flower. They are lovely flowers, colourful and eye-catching.

But my mistake was to put the plastic flower pot into another container, a more attractive one than the simple and plain black plastic pot the Calla Lily came in. But I didn’t think about it, at all. The lovely pink ‘overpot’ I placed the Lily in didn’t have any holes in the bottom of it, and every time the Lily was watered, a bit more water was left in the container, so that the Lily’s roots never had the chance to dry out a little, they stayed wet, always.

If you have plants please, please make sure they don’t get too much love (water)!

 

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Hooray for Rain!

Yes, finally we have had a reasonable amount of rain, so hooray for that. But of course, living where we live, with rain will come caltrop, a much disliked weed indeed. We have had many caltrop plants popping up all over the place after rain. And of course, nobody wants to tread on the prickle from a caltrop weed, ouch!

If you don’t know what this dastardly prickle is, there is much information here: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture The plant is a beautiful one, with fern-like leaves and a lovely delicate little yellow flower. It grows low on the ground and can be easy to miss, amongst taller plants. But the seed is a vicious one, similar to the three corner jack, with a painfully sharp prickle. After rain, I know these plants will be popping up all over our property again.

Every caltrop plant pulled up is many thousands of these horrible prickles that won’t end up in the bottom of shoes, or in the soles of feet – a very good thing indeed. I hate finding caltrop seeds with the bottom of my feet, when someone’s shoes have brought them inside, and they’ve settled in the carpet!

I began this blog post yesterday, when we got a reasonable amount of rain, 6mm apparently.  But the wind has still been there, in the morning any, not so much rain though. The wind is bring up lots of dust from the paddocks and such all around, blowing the dust toward Adelaide, where the suburbanites and city folk will complain about it, when it lands on their washing hanging out.

If we’d had a lot more rain, this may not have happened, but it would probably be bad for the hay that is still in paddocks around where I am (Mallala region South Australia). As I’ve often said, I’m glad I’m not a farmer – having to rely on the weather for your profit is a huge gamble, and if you get it wrong, there goes your money …

But I’m not a farmer, although there are farms all around where I live. I am a gardener though. Today, my husband and I went into our back yard, and picked up some of our plants which were blown over by the winds last night or this morning … One plant had a broken branch, which I’ve neatened up and put into one of the vegetable plots, in the hope of the cutting growing roots.

We’ll see, it’s up to Nature of course, these things are always up to Nature doing her thing, and the people doing their thing, all for the betterment of our plants! I’m going to go outside later today or maybe tomorrow and check some of our yard, to see if those nasty caltrop seeds have popped up. Apparently the seed can remain, in the ground and viable for seven years. And after every rain, more and more pop up.

If we don’t keep on top of the caltrop weeds, it will be dangerous times for feet!

 

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weather

Sunshine in the Morning

In Winter, sometimes the day can start out being dark and not get much lighter during the day, because the sky is too cloudy to let the sunshine in. Other days, the shu can rise in a sky that gets bluer and bluer, all the way through to sunset, and a clear star-filled sky.

Other days can be like today. We had a nice sunrise (I assume, I slept through it), then we had a lovely blue, right up until the clouds came along and things got darker. Often dark and cloudy skies at least have the benefit of bringing rain to help to freshen up the garden. Not today though, not here anyway.

We haven’t been getting that much rain really, considering the season it is. One tends to thing that winter is when there is lots of rain, rain, and thunderstorms. But as at now, the rainfall for Winter seems to be lower than for other years … Of course, we have hoses and water available at the turn of a tap, so our plants will still be OK. A bit of rain in winter is still appreciated though, for sure.

But these sunny times in Winter are appreciated to, by many. I’m not a farmer, and I imagine the farmers in my part of South Australia would like to see some more rain. The crops are coming up, so there paddocks are showing green, but if more rains, and heavier rains don’t follow up on the rains we’ve already had, I suspect the crops would suffer. I hope Nature brings that needed rain.

We hope so too, we have our own ‘crops’ as I’ve written about before. The mandarin tree, the two vegetable plots, and our saltbush plants, the all need water, the saltbush plant not needing as much though. Saltbush plants are saviours in some areas, when and if the rain doesn’t come. They manage to grow well enough, on little or no rain, offering food to herbivores, when there is little else available.

And the saltbush doesn’t seem to mind the sun, it doesn’t seem to suffer at all, even in summer, when most of the other plants can show signs of distress. Having some plants like that is a good thing, for a garden. Succulents are like that too, they can keep on going through harsh times. So too can geraniums, and they have the added bonus of flowers of various colours.

All in all, our garden this Winter has had a good range of sunshine and rain, and I’m looking forward to what Spring might bring. I love following along with how things are going at our place, and also how the birds around us are going. Of course, they are dependant on Nature for rain, although we help them out a little, with three bird baths, and also have the swimming pool, that some birds drink from, mostly sparrows and swallows.

Interesting things, birds, and flowers and trees. And of course, the sky blue, or clouded, or star filled. Lovely, all of it!

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Summer Start Cool & Rainy

This year, Summer has started in a way our garden certainly seems to be appreciating. We’ve had a bit of rain, keeping the front and back lawns as well as most of our potted plants and trees watered naturally, and topping up the bird baths too. It’s also creating yet another mini lake on our front driveway. Perfect for nature, great for us!

deathpool

For the final week of Spring, we had horrible hot and humid weather with a small amount of rain, but I certainly saw a few birds perched on various fences who looked like they wanted more rain. On the last day of Spring, I saw something in our pool, which turned out to be a lizard, floating on/in the pool. I carefully got closer to see if it was alive. It was, Yay.

I got the skimmer box lid, and used it to make the lizard float closer, then scooped up the lizard, and put in down next to the pool. It wasn’t happy at me and showed me its blue tongue in a kind of a snarl. I put down the skimmer box lid and got pool something or other with a long handle and carefully ‘encouraged’ the lizard to move further away from the pool.

Fortunately, it moved away as I wanted it too, and it has stayed away! Lizards, especially Blue Tongue Lizards are relatively common around where we live. We’ve had a few that fell victim to our dogs over the years. I’m glad this one was in the pool area, not the backyard. The dog doesn’t go in the pool area, so lizards are safe, if not really wanted. Snakes have been in our pool too, over the years. I certainly don’t work to save their lives though. The snakes we get here are poisonous ones, and in fact our dog was bitten by a Brown Snake a few years ago, and could have died if we hadn’t whizzed her off to the vet for treatment.

There’s a story that says if you have lizards you won’t have snakes, but I don’t know whether or not that’s true. I just make sure I keep an eye out for reptiles and deal with them as appropriate, keeping Missy the dog well away from any reptile action. I don’t ever want her to be bitten like that again. We love Missy, and we certainly don’t want to pay that much money again. Saving a dog bitten by a poisonous snake is expensive! It doesn’t always work either. We have excellent vets at the clinic we use.

blue flowers

My husband and son are due to play their weekly summer sport today, Lawn Bowls. My husband and I are watching the bit of rain we’re having at the moment, and hoping it doesn’t stop the game from starting, or ending it before the game is over. If the bowling club rinks get too wet, the game will be cancelled. And if they get a little bit wet, it tends to slow the bowls down as they journey to the other end of the rinks, when one of the bowlers have their turn. Fun times, hoping for the best for husband and son with their games today, and I know I will be there later on in the afternoon, unless the rain cancels play.

It will be interesting to see how this goes with the rest of Summer, a bit rainy instead of stinking hot is great for the garden and great for me too! My husband and son both like swimming though, so they both like the hotter weather. I’m happy to keep cool by staying inside, where the air conditioner does its work very well, or even sometimes a little too well for me. I like to be a little bit warm, but my husband likes to be a little bit cool … I can always put on another layer of clothes though, so I’m content to go with the temperature he likes the best …

The dog, Missy, likes to be inside on her sofa most of the time, and doesn’t seem to mind what the temperature is inside … A clever dog, this one! Do you have your own weather preferences? I’d love to hear about it if you do, feel free to leave a comment here!

 

 

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Garden To Get a Drenching

I’ve checked the Bureau of Meteorology Website, and am preparing for some moderately heavy rains that appear to be on the way. There’s no rain yet, although the image indicates there is supposed to be. But even though rain and image aren’t matched up yet, the look of the yellow and orange indications won’t allow me to rest easy.

garden produceI can see actual clouds outside and they’re looking threatening too, so I’ll stay inside, or at least close to cover for a while. There’s the tail end of a football game on, and after that there’ll be another one, the dogs are all comfortable settled inside, and I don’t need to be out there in the cold. Winter was toying with us a while ago, letting Spring have a play, but the colder weather certainly hasn’t finished yet.

The seasons are funny things, aren’t they? We all rely on Winter running from June to August, then in September it’s Spring, and so on. But it doesn’t always follow those human rules, and why should it? Nature relies on many different things, and even though some of those things happen because of things mankind has done, that certainly doesn’t mean we are controlling Nature. Nature is controlling us.

At least, if mankind we clever, we would allow Nature to control us. But of course people only THINK we’re clever, but the reality is something else. We cut down trees to plant crops in places that had good rainfall and then are surprised when the rain stops coming. Trees help to bring the rain – Trees suck the moisture from soil through their roots, then the moisture travels throughout the tree and the moisture leaves the tree as transpiration from the tree leaves.

It’s a natural process, and a reliable one, that people would do well to understand. I’m looking outside and then at the BOM site and it still isn’t matched up – cold but dry out there at my place still, even though the website indicates otherwise. Ah well, as long as the roof does its job properly, we should be fine in here, when the rain gets here. If it gets here … still waiting.

Weather is a strange thing. Such an unpredictable thing, it is, but it’s reliably good as a conversation starter. If you’re meeting someone and can’t think of a thing to say, just mention the weather, and away the words will flow … Something like, “Hasn’t this winter been cold, lately?” will do it. The other person will agree, or not, and either way, that’s a conversation.

anankaPets are good for conversation starters. If you have a dog, or two, or three, you can ask someone if they have a dog, and if they do, they’ll love telling you about their precious pet. If they don’t have a dog, but have a different pet, then they can talk about that pet and you can both talk about the differences and similarities of your pets.

a-rose-by-any-other-nameGardens are good conversation starters too. Growing can be an obsession for some people and they can talk about their roses, or their pumpkins, or radishes , or petunias for hours if they get the chance. I’ve been enjoying all of the flowers we have growing at the moment. And I’m getting interested in our strawberries because of their flowers and the delicious fruit that will come in time, with sunshine and time.

Winter isn’t really the right time for strawberries, but ours grow in hanging pots under cover and so never really stopped producing fruit. When petals fall off, then the strawberry begins to grow. In sunshine the whole thing happens more quickly. At the moment we have several new strawberries coming along, with one of them beginning to change colour from green to pink/red. These winter strawberries are small though, the fruit we had before winter’s cold came along here bigger.

The rain seems to have started now, not heavy yet, but we’ll see how it goes. And the new game is getting ready to start now, Fremantle versus someone or other, and I’d better watch it, because I like Fremantle, it’s my second favourite AFL team. The Adelaide Crows weren’t able to give me a win for this round, so let’s see if Fremantle can do the job!

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Thinking about Nature

My friend John has put something interesting on his blog. Well, I found it interesting, and John must have too, to have posted a blog post about it. It was about a girl who used to get up from her desk at school, and go and look at the rain when it pelted down.

Do you like to look at the rain, I know I do, as long as I’m not out in it. Although, having said that, I remember how my dear friend Wendy and I used to take her dog out for walks when we were about 14, and the rain never stopped us. If anything, the rain took us out into it. When it was raining, there was no-one else around walking, and there were fewer cars.

We’d be bundled up in raincoats, and it was like we were untouchable somehow. We’d arrive home again, soaking wet, but exhilarated. I certainly wouldn’t do that these days. It makes me excited to think of other people who love the rain too! Rain, rainbows, clouds, I love them all. I don’t like being cold and wet these days though.

What do other people think about this? What kind of weather do you love?

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NaPoWriMo Day 27

On the drive to the Tea Tree Gully library, Graham and I were interested to see so much dust. It’s quite windy out there today, and there hasn’t been rain for too many days. We were driving past untilled paddocks, that seemed to be losing their top soil to the wind. Very dusty.

So I was thinking about that when I finally sat down at the library to write my poem for the day. Anzac Day rain is often when farmers traditionally sow their crops. There hasn’t been terribly much rain around our district, apart from one recent reasonable day of rain. The farmers need more rain. It’s been forecast, but that’s no guarantee…

This is the poem I wrote, based on all of that.

Season break

 

Northerly wind picks up

and disperses top soil,

farmers wait and hope

consider and act

as they always have.

 

More rain forecast

but clouds in the sky

are not the ones.

Farmer, machinery and seed

are getting ready.

 

Sunshine and rain

will combine and nature

will once again perform

its magic trick and carpet

the ground with green.

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