Rain brought out brilliant blooms
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.