Sunday, 1 February 2009

Brown & Crunchy


I had to give a sad little sigh when Hliza, in a comment to my earlier post, said that "It's good that your garden is so helps to cool the weather down a bit."

Sadly, three days of 43°C temperatures, combined with below 10% humidity, put paid to any greenness.

Above is the crunchy remnants of an hydrangea that grows against a south wall and never receives direct sun.

And this is a Hebe, reported to be sun tolerant.

And this is a camellia, rather sunburnt.

A Japanese maple is now the colour of maple syrup.

The grapes are now raisins.

The elderberry is brown and crunchy. As are both magnolias and a rhododendron.

The vegetable garden faired moderately well. The raspberries leaves are curled and crisp. The zucchinis melted and cannot be found. And the pumpkins, beans and tomatoes decided to finish their season early. Happily the silverbeet is well, as is the basil.


I'd cry but salt water is the last thing the garden needs.


  1. I'm so sorry dear Lee it is heartbreaking to see the merciless damage that the heat can inflict on our plants.
    This is what my garden looked like after the very intense heat from a bush fire a while back, I lost many plants including my beautiful mollis azaleas. :(
    But take heart dear friend, some of them can be saved with a bit of TLC and a good drink, they are burnt and stressed so don't fertilise or trim too much.
    I hope they survive. ♥

  2. Oh dear! Poor you - I imagine you're a bit brown and crunchy too! My sister lives in Perth where temps like these are pretty standard mid-summer - but I guess that they are unusual for where you are in Australia.

    Keep on sprinkling your leftover shower/laundry water and let's hope for some cooler weather.

    In fact, I'm trying to send away the ice, snow and minus minus minus temps your way...

  3. Oh no, wishing you cooler times. I am sitting here trying to persuade myself to go outside it so cold here today!

  4. How disappointing to see all your plants go crisp. So much work and care go into gardening, it becomes almost a friend. To see it wither before it reaches its potential is painful. And one's mouth gets all set for fresh vegetables, the eye for colorful blooms... I'd say go ahead and cry.

  5. I sympathise with your plants : I hate the heat.
    No consolation perhaps but three of my plants have died from the cold and two of my big plant pots have cracked even they're supposed to withstand extreme temperatures. C'est la vie.

  6. Oh those are sad, sad sight! I heard the extreme heat in Melbourne had made its way to international news now..hoping you guys can find ways to cool off. Or may be take a flight to somewhere cool?

  7. Heartbreaking stuff. Have you considered a Japanese raked stone garden?

  8. Crispy at my home too Lee. I think we will have a number of my beloved roses die and my camillias are just like yours too.
    Not good!

  9. Oh poo... and I have always loved all the pics of your garden. When are you coming to Malaysia for your son's wedding?

    I'm counting my blessings that we still have a lot of rain over here.

  10. this post just made me sick. :( can you guys water the gardens at all? water from sinks, tubs, washing machines, etc.? i would be heartbroken if these were mine. hydrangeas need water and a lot of shade with only filtered light. perhaps if you pot it you can bring it back with watering and some shade?

    good luck...such a sad state of affairs. this happened to us in atlanta, and we'd have 1 or 2 days a week we could water gardens by gov't decree - no more. i soaked and soaked the plants on those days, sometimes staying up past midnight on the night before the watering day so it was technically a watering day at midnight - therefore i would get 2 big waterings that day by watering from midnight until 2am and then again that night around 8-10pm. i also delivered water to the plants via pitchers from the house when i washed clothes or dishes. we would get through it, but it was difficult, hard work. since we left GA we hear the drought has become so intense they have forbidden any watering days some years. people have to carry all water outside from sinks, tubs, washings, etc. many landscapes are dead. it is all so sad.

  11. Oh dear - but I guess you could make lots of pot pourri now! xxx

  12. Mum's just told me off, she said my comment was 'sick'. I'M A BLOODY DOG! I'M ALLOWED TO BE!

  13. Thanks Henry!

    Sky: You asked about watering: we can water Wednesdays and Sundays between 6am and 8am, hand held hoses only. Last week we watered Wednesday morning - Wed = 38°C, Thurs, Fri & Sat were all 43°C. By Sunday morning, the next watering morning, the damage was done. Shower water, kitchen water and laundry water was also used. The big problem was that the plants couldn't get the water up to the leaves quickly enough. So hot and so dry, they broiled.

  14. OK, well, good news bad news.
    The bad news is, no matter what side of the brick (stone?) wall that first plant was on, if Sun hits one side, it is present on both sides.
    Ah well.
    Now is the time to consider how real the Spirit is.
    I mean, I'm with you. I have yet to see the religion that exists to truly honor the CREATOR, but, despite that, there is still .... something.
    For example, any of your plants hanging there, crunchy and dry, may just come back next year plush and green.

    But then, there's the good nesw....
    (are y'kidding me?)
    IF they don't come back, being crunchy and what not, makes them easy to knock down and mix into the soil.
    If they do come back...well, there's that.

    BEAUTIFUL garden, Lee! Don't be such a pessimist!
    Heck, I look forward to seeing next year's harvest.

    (by the the dog done digging the hole for the new tree?)

  15. It's +2 in Edmonton today. Maybe we could average our temeratures out and share a nice 22.5 Celsius?

  16. We are still aloud to run our bore water in Perth, 3 days a week so it's not to bad here although yesterday was hot, 38C, luckily for that one day only!
    So sad to see your garden dies and you can't do much about it.

  17. awwhh, too bad! but they'll come back, we hope.


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