Rain brought out bril­liant blooms

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Stan Ma­ley To share your Ger­ald­ton gar­den with read­ers, call Stan Ma­ley on 0428 230 029.

Happy New Year to all my read­ers out there in the Mid West.

Last year was full of sur­prises – record grain crops, new Beres­ford fore­shore and much, much more to be proud and happy for.

Sto­ries of gar­den­ing and gar­dens, events and places were told through this col­umn and I take a mo­ment to thank all con­trib­u­tors to the suc­cess of the col­umn in the Times and for all your feed­back through the year. Keeps me go­ing. We look for­ward to 2019, to meet up and share again all your sto­ries, your gar­den and gar­den­ing ideas and the growth, so to speak, of the joy of gar­den­ing and the ben­e­fits it brings to ev­ery­one, young and old.

Com­ing back from Perth af­ter a won­der­ful Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion with my fam­ily (18 for din­ner!) I was driv­ing my old 1985, Lite Ace Toy­ota van, luck­ily the wind was be­hind me, blow­ing me along.

Ac­tu­ally it was more like wrestling with it on the dreaded In­dian Ocean Drive.

By the grace of God I got back to Ger­ald­ton in one piece.

On oc­ca­sional breaks in the traf­fic I looked across at the na­tive bush­land from Wan­neroo to the in­ter­sec­tion once again with the Brand High­way.

Never be­fore, in the sum­mer, have I seen the colour and beauty of what we gen­er­ally call the dull old scrub in sum­mer.

The bush yielded up soft tones of green through to yel­low and light or­ange.

Some banksias down South were show­ing their gen­tle colour thrust out among the older trees.

Christ­mas Trees were still bear­ing the bril­liant or­ange blooms. Many other types of plants were con­tribut­ing to this sub­tle show.

Per­haps it was the good rains we had from May till Au­gust, or the mild weather.

Av­er­age tem­per­a­ture of 20C in De­cem­ber last year.

Or could it have been that there is more car­bon in the at­mos­phere? Per­haps it was all three. Gar­den­ers know how im­por­tant that plants re­ceive all the right set of cir­cum­stances to flour­ish and pro­vide fruit or flow­ers.

For ex­am­ple, our pas­sion fruit had no flow­ers on it but a lot of growth. Af­ter a dose of potas­sium yes­ter­day, there were two flow­ers on it this morn­ing.

An­other thing I learnt re­cently was that an av­o­cado tree that came up in our gar­den, was pot­ted out and strug­gled un­til it died.

It looked great when planted. It was wa­tered nearly ev­ery day. Then I read if you over wa­ter a young av­o­cado, it will die in two days!

What hap­pened in the Mid West this year with rain, it was light, but it was reg­u­lar, com­ing along about ev­ery two weeks and giv­ing the crops just what they needed.

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, in our gar­den we have found that drip line ir­ri­ga­tion, spac­ing of 150mm and 150mm wide gives an ex­cel­lent cov­er­age of wa­ter and enough for the plants to thrive. Any­thing that needs ex­tra wa­ter can be wa­tered by hand-held hose.

Here is a sug­ges­tion for your lawns this sum­mer. The heat will come. Raise the level of cut­ting so your lawn has more growth left to help it hold mois­ture and keep the soil on which it is grow­ing, cooler.

That’s it for this week. All the best for 2019.

A Christ­mas tree in flower along­side In­dian Ocean Drive.

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