The Arid Garden

It’s been hard to create any enthusiasm to write a post this month. My daily garden tours are not something to look forward to, as they mostly just involve “what’s died today…”

This astilbe is near the hose and was watered lots of times. Not any more tho, better to save the water for something more deserving!
2 weeks ago the lawns were going ,going…now they’re gone! You can see why we’re not holding open days at the moment!

We have a good  bore here, but also sixty something cows and thirty odd horses, all of which are living on dry feed, which makes them very thirsty. The grass is gone, except in the few little gullies, so their diet is hay and some silage. Obviously their welfare comes first, followed by the nursery. Our 2 large gardens are at the bottom of the heap of water commitments.

The nursery gets watered every evening and is a lush paradise! Many of these plants will be used to fill in the gaps when the rains finally come.

I spend an hour or so morning and evening, doling out meager  supplies to priority plants. More than this and the header tank gets emptied and then takes a very long time to fill again.

Christopher Marlowe is in a very dry garden in front of the house. He’s been watered once…

My first priority is any rare roses, which should they die, would be irreplaceable. If I have a cutting grown one in the nursery, they have to take their chances. For the roses, their chances are high, as they are definitely, not withstanding succulents, the toughest things in the garden when it comes to surviving and some indeed prospering, in a drought. Eventually they start to let their older shoots die, saving this season’s basal shoots to ride it out. Most of them are soldiering on at this stage, still  producing fleeting summer flowers. Most of the Teas have descended into mildew mode, they love the heat and insist on growing and flowering, but look less than attractive covered in mould!

At this stage there is no end in sight. February is probably my least favoured month. Eventually the days will shorten and cool and hopefully some decent rain will come before June. Last year the autumn rains never came, surely that won’t happen again?