Scary times ahead…

It is still early January, and in our district, despite a recent unseasonal cold spell (over as of today!) the Spring-like cold and terrible wind have produced zero moisture and we are fast approaching drought conditions. I know some of you in other parts of the country have had heaps of rain, but sadly not at our place. The farms along the road are all feeding out already, we’re not far behind. It’s quite scary so early in the summer, especially considering what’s going on across the water in Oz. My heart goes out to the farmers and gardeners , although it’s sort of “normal” for drought over there…let’s face it, half their country is a desert. This is meant to be The Mighty Waikato! where grass abounds!!!

The Australian bush fire smoke reaches the Waikato

So…back to the garden. Or not, as I still have an annoying lump of concrete on my leg which seems to cause major swelling if I spend more than a couple of hours outside on my knee scooter. The good news about a drought is the weeds stop growing…that’s just starting to happen in some of the drier parts of the garden. They’re still going great guns through the mulch! You can judge the places to spend your alotted hours with the hose by the state of the weeds. Unfortunately some of the plants have already succumbed while I was holed up inside, but you can’t win them all and with the season heading the way I think it is, its important to prioritise and decide what to keep alive. Any newly planted (since early winter) roses are my first priority. Established roses will survive any normal Kiwi “drought”, but those planted recently recently will be in grave danger if not kept under scrutiny. Excessive watering is quite unnecessary, but a good deep drink every week or 2 will keep them happy.

It’s not feasible if you have a big garden and a broken leg, to keep gardens damp, so any plants that need damp conditions to survive need to be sacrificed and left to die quietly…A lot of the plants that like a lot of moisture, like the Japanese Irises and Hydrangeas won’t actually die, they’ll come back next year even if they look dead…(so long as they were established already)

But alas, many perennials will die quickly and its a good time to sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak, and really take note of and enjoy the thrivers and survivors and be sure to plant more of them for next summer!