Thursday, 31 January 2013

How the garden coped with the rain

Surveying the garden after the rain, there was bit of a mess but no real damage.......
There were even some nice surprises.

At least something good came of all the rain we've had. Our Stenocarpus sinuatus (Firewheel tree) is covered in blooms for the first time. It's a subtropical rainforest tree so native to this general area but obviously likes more water than we have been giving it. We don't water any of our trees in the rainforest area . They were chosen because they are indigenous to our region and so I believe they should be able to cope with whatever comes along. To look spectacular though, maybe they do need some help occasionally.

The flowers look like spokes of a wheel - hence its common name.

When we installed drainage near the back patio we covered the area with a "dry creek bed" of pebbles and stones. During the downpour it was far from dry but the drainage worked well and the water flowed away quickly. - decorative AND practical.

Getting rid of excess water was the priority.
Throughout last weekend we had to keep syphoning water out of the pool. If it over-flows it makes a terrible mess. With the volume of rain we had this was a frequent task for a couple of days.
 When the rain ceased the pool looked fine, but...
 we currently have a green pool.
With chemical balance of the pool altered with all the rainwater algae doesn't take long to grow. A trip to the pool shop will fix it easily.
The chickens haven't grown webbed feet quite yet but they probably wish they could. Their pen is soggy and there's no point letting them out because the rest of the yard is no better.
During the rain, the older ladies spent most of their time in the coup and the younger ones were outside in the rain. We thought maybe the young ones were just stupid, but when we went to check on them we discovered a crabby old chook standing guard to stop the younger girls entering. Chickens can be nasty to each other sometimes.
In general, though, the new girls are settling in well. They tend to stick together (safety in numbers) and the older chooks ignore them most of the time.
The poor sunflowers toppled over, but the passionfruit vine is loving the extra moisture.

 The corn fell over as well with the wind and rain.
We'll pick any ripe cobs then pull the rest out. The chickens may benefit from this bounty if there is enough.
The beehive gingers, in fact all of our gingers, love extra moisture.
You will note there are no dogs in any of these photos. Missy has decided that until the ground dries out she'll leave the exploring to us and only go outside for the bare essentials.
Smart dog.




Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Too much rain

What a difference a few days can bring. On Friday I was looking forward to seeing some much needed rain. By Monday Queensland was in flood.
A rain depression (ex-cyclone Oswald) had made its way slowly down the coast causing huge amounts of rain, strong winds and rough seas.
450mm of rain was collected in our rain gauge. The rain seemed to be horizontal at times so some may have missed. I haven't checked the official rain tally.
We had next to no damage at home - just a few plants flattened and some fallen branches. Others were not so fortunate. These are a couple of photos from our local newspaper.

The town of Bundaberg is facing a terrible flood.
The Brisbane River invaded riverside businesses and is expected to rise even more today.
It was almost exactly 2 years ago we had the flood which caused so much damage to the city so people were understandably anxious to see the threat of another flood. The experts are saying that there will be flooding but nowhere near the extent of two years ago. 

With the huge waves and high tides, the ocean engulfed a number of beachfront buildings as well.

The combination of soaking rain and high winds brought down many trees.

The weather system has moved south into New South Wales and is still causing problems.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Australia really is a land of extremes.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Rain - Wonderful Rain

With all of our visitors now gone Missy and I are appreciating the serentity. It's been a hectic time over the past month. While I've been at work John has been enjoying being a Grandpa and entertaining the children, but it has left time for only the most essential gardening chores - namely watering our poor plants. The garden has been suffering terribly. Our temperatures have been consistently in the high 30s and even over 40 degrees C with no rain at all this month. Our tanks are almost empty.
Lately, I haven't had time to blog but haven't felt like it either. I couldn't bring myself to take photos of sunburnt foliage, limp leaves and parched plants. The only hint of green in our brown crunchy lawn has been the weeds that seem to thrive in harsh conditions. Mowing caused clouds of dust and merely chopped the seedheads off the weeds.
Anything in the veggie patch that wasn't killed by the heat have been attacked by bugs. The chickens don't mind though - that means they get some protein with their greens. They have felt the heat as well. Some days they were just standing around panting with their wings held out trying to keep cool and too lethargic even to scratch in the dust.
Did I say I loved Summer?

But then, last night it started to rain - a gentle soaking rain that will revive struggling plants, fill our tanks and bring our garden back to life again. The rain is predicted to continue for the next few days. Yay!!!

We have a three day weekend coming up and I had planned to spend most of my time in the garden. Depending on how heavy the rain comes down, those plans may need to change, but I don't mind. The rain will do more good for the garden than anything I could offer.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Loving Summer

Christmas came and went and we are now well into January. The time sped by so fast.  My grandsons have gone and three more grandchildren arrive today (for the next three weeks) so we will be kept busy I'm sure. No pet dragon from Santa and no more hours in the day I'm afraid.
Not that I'm complaining -
Summer is a wonderful time of the year.

The local birds are feasting in our palm trees.

Throughout the garden there are flowers everywhere.

Bright gawdy cheerful flowers.

Our experiment with the lettuce and shadecloth has been a success.

They do still bolt to seed faster than in the cooler months, but we have usable tasty leaves for salads.
No such problem with the Asian greens. There's been a bit of chicken damage though.

 The corn should be ready in a couple of weeks, hopefully while the grandchildren are here.

We had a bit of a disaster with some of the rockmelons. They were rotting before ripening. I tried lifting them up from the ground with pots but they still rotted.
Trusty Doctor Google helped save the day.
Lesson 1: Stop regular watering once they've set fruit.
Lesson 2: Chickens love rockmelon.

The figs are looking good. Maybe a small feast there soon as well.

I just love Summer.


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