We are now in summer and I was hoping to put all my troubles behind me.  Of the first four days of the season, there hasn’t been much to complain about except a two-hour window of intense craziness on Tuesday.

This is a glass half empty or a glass half full scenario. Either the onions have been wind swept or they are ready for harvest. I say… bring on the harvest.

There we were, minding our own business, enjoying what was promising to be another delightful summer day.  Never ending blue skies with a hint of haze in the distance from the smoke of the Australian bush fires.  The sun was beating down and there was barely a puff of wind.  The previous two days were in the category of ‘so far so good’.   We were all hoping the turmoil of spring was well and truly behind us.  This season ahead of us has a lot of responsibility on its shoulders to help us feel good about the weather again.

This rocket became a tangled mess and so it is no longer there. This was an easy decision.

Then things started to change.  Around 1:30 in the afternoon, the humidity began to rise dramatically up to 90%.  The air felt thick and then it started to rain.  Now I don’t mind a good rain as our water tanks are uncomfortably low as we head into what is likely to be a dry summer.  And a good rain is good for the garden.  It was only a brief three hour rainfall where a mere 5mm was deposited onto the garden and hopefully some of it made its way into the water tanks.  Rain I can cope with.

Twisted tomatoes
It didn’t take long for the tomatoes to re-orientate themselves into the twisted position. Hopefully it won’t take long to twist back to the upright position.

But what was the worst was the wind.  Before the humidity rose, the wind was toying about with the garden with breezes of less than 10 Km/h and it was just enough to keep the temperatures almost reaching the mid-twenties still feel light and not oppressive.  When the humidity rose, it felt like all hell had broken loose, the wind within half an hour of a gentle breeze had become a roaring 25km/h.  But not to be stopped there, it whipped around the garden caused mayhem and havoc for the next two hours peaking with gusts of 51.5km/h.  Then as quickly as it came, it all died down, the rain stopped, and the wind returned to breeze conditions.  However, just to taunt us it picked up to around 30km/h  momentarily a couple of times across the evening.

wind swept corn
Fortunately the soil in the corn bed is soft – although in hindsight this may have been part of the problem… but gently and firmly pushing down on the soil made them stand up straight again..

It didn’t last long but wind can be a bully.  It whipped through my rocket, it tousled with the sunflowers, it teased the tomatoes, it flattened the onions, it leaned on the corn and it brought down the bok choi.  The rocket and the bok choi had bolted to seed in the latest bout of unpredictable weather and I was leaving it for the bees to enjoy the flowers, so it was no great loss there.  New seeds had already been sown.  The onions were already beginning to flop over and so the decision on when to harvest was made a little easier.  The sunflowers managed to stand their ground in the face of it all and their heads still stand tall and proud.  The tomatoes were gently tied into place and the corn was nudged back into the upright position.  The wind may be a meany bully but this time it didn’t get the better of us and the garden will go on.

I’m proud of the sunflowers this year and how they stood up to the wind. All going well I should have a magnificent display.

Looking forward to the rest of the month, the boffins are suggesting it will be a warm and dry time, however at quote from the Metservice website says:  “Bottom Line – Westerlies continue during December”.  Great.  I think my next project will be to seriously investigate wind protection options!

Come again soon – we are in summer and the sky is mostly blue.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

14 thoughts on “Aftermath

  1. We’ve had ridiculous amounts of wind here in the Wellington region too. I mean… more than usual!
    The chrysanthemums have popped their string and are lolling drunkenly about, and the Bramley’s tiny apples are being thinned for us. It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, I guess.

    1. It hasn’t been too bad since, but I’m really hoping this is it as far as dodgy weather goes. I was hoping for some rain as the recent storm didn’t reach us – well not in the quantities promised and the water tank ran dry! : o)

    1. It is a strange summer. A couple of days ago I was overheating and today I am wearing a jumper as the breeze has a chill on it. I am hoping it will settle down soon to be closer to what you would expect from a summer. : o)

  2. Even knocked about, it is gratifying to see a garden in summer. As much as I thoroughly enjoy winter, it is nice to see it sunny there. It actually ‘looks’ warm and summery.
    Do you happen to know what the yellow flowering shrubby thing in the upper right corner of the last picture is?

    1. It isn’t quite as warm as we’d like yet, but I’m sure summer will turn up eventually!
      The plant is a Yellow Tree Lupin and it is a weed, but I like it. It makes the garden smell wonderful. : o)

      1. Yellow tree lupine?! It looks like what is native here. Is it a weed because it is invasive, or because it is a naturalized exotic? Is it really a species of Lupinus, or is it just related, like a broom of some sort? (I don’t meant to ask so many questions. It got my attention.)

        1. Its Scientific name is Lupinus arboreus and it is from the pea family. It is one of yours – native to California. It is a pest because it changes the coastal environment and so makes it difficult for native plants and birds to thrive and makes it easier for other non natives to thrive. I kind of like it here as it grows well in a place that would be susceptible to erosion and looks attractive. I will probably use it as a nursery plant to protect other plants I want to establish. There are plenty of weeds that are much worse around here! : o)

          1. That grows wild here. There is some right outside. There is more of it on the coast. I like it here, but probably would not like it so much outside of its native range.

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