Perth is drying up
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Perth is drying up
Friday, April 1, 2022
Djeran season at last sees a break in the really hot weather. A key indicator of the change of season is the cool nights that once again bring a dewy presence for us to discover in the early mornings.
The winds have also changed, especially in their intensity, with light breezes being the go and generally swinging from southerly directions (i.e. south east to south west). Many flying ants can be seen cruising around in the light winds.
Djeran is a time of red flowers especially from the Red Flowering Gum (Corimbia ficifolia), as well as the smaller and more petite flowers of the Summer Flame (Beaufortia aestiva). As you travel around the Perth area, you may also notice the red 'rust' and seed cones forming on the male and female Sheoaks (Allocasuarina fraseriana). Banksias start to display their flowers, ensuring that there are nectar food sources for the many small mammals and birds that rely upon them. Source: http://www.bom.gov.au/iwk/nyoongar/djeran.shtml
Eagerly we are watching the skies, the weather charts, the plants in the garden. There have been a couple of very short showers of rain, and the temperatures are gradually cooling down to the low 30C. Is the summer over? Can we start planting autumn crops? Can the garden recover from the heat?
A week or so ago I took down one shade sail, on the western side of the house. We have a large bottlebrush tree there, and the bed is planted with cumquat, sweet potato, fennel, basil.When the garden did not die from the heat (!) I took the rest of the shade sails down too. I rather too hopefully planted some rainbow chard and 12 garlic cloves, but it may be a bit early yet.
The garden has survived the summer, but it was not as productive as I hoped, and I don't really know why. I planted some zucchini but had only one fruit, even though there were plenty of flowers. The passionfruit has had lots of flowers, but no fruit set either. The pumpkin that self seeded has only one fruit on it. The dwarf beans I planted came to nothing. I wonder about the pollinators -was it too hot for the bees? There are some bee attracting flowers in my garden all the time -I have alyssum, which bees love, and nasturtiums, and parsley, and basil, but it has been some time since I saw the bees out in force.
Gardening, no matter how long you have been doing it, is an exercise in observation and patience. If I was actually relying on the garden to feed us, there would be times when we had a 'hungry gap'. Nevertheless, we are now harvesting limes, pomegranates, fennel and mint. DH found an olive tree on the street near our home, with small black olives, and harvested 3 jars for a quick batch. Our kalamata olives are very green still.
If the rains come, I hope the parsley will come back again - I miss it!