I can say that, for this week, progress has been made. But it feels a little like it was hard fought for. Aside from easing myself out of a boom and bust yo-yo cycle where I do too much one day and pay for it the next, (this doesn’t seem to be swinging so wildly between the stages of frenzy and inertia so much anymore, which is a good sign) but the summer temperatures have been brutal. I think this has been helping control the yo-yo as you’d have to be mad to garden out in the middle of the day, so the better part of the day is spent in more gentle pursuits.
I bought a new digital thermometer because I thought my old one was broken as it seemed to be reading too high all the time. It turns out there was nothing wrong with it and my poor old garden gets up to some lofty highs. I put this down to the black sand that makes up the paths. Ordinarily it’s a great material for a path, but in these few summer months, with the combined affect of the windbreak, which attempts to slow the wild winds, the temperatures in the garden get a little hot. The latest record breaking temperature sitting on the Max position is 38.5°C. Currently I’m quite obsessed with the Max number, but notice the Min is reading 14.8°C which suggests our hot, sleepless nights with the windows open won’t be with us forever.
The weather at this time of year can be quite fickle. Earlier this week there was a heavy rain warning that stretched out across most of the country promising to refresh parched land. In anticipation, and in a desire to save water, I held off watering thinking I’d let the skies do it. This was a big mistake… we got barely a drop. At one point we checked out the rain radar and watched in disbelief as the rain cloud imagery split into two clouds and went completely around us, like it was intentional. The hardest bit is we could see it raining out at sea!
So as a result, garden progress has been a bit slow. The actual garden itself is in good shape and doesn’t need a lot of attention at all. It is pretty much weed free and is growing nicely. The exciting thing is the plants have long since left the sweet first tastes and are beginning to become a bit of a glut. And with the glut comes processing it all and setting it up for the winter. This week I have whipped up some Cowboy Candy with my jalapeno’s and spent a good hour or two chopping carrots, kohlrabi, zucchini, onion, dates, apples and anything else that looked like it would work – into a mishmash of several recipes that purported to be a close knock off of a good Ploughman’s Pickle of a certain brand. Now I’m eying up the Hungarian Wax Peppers as they look like they are almost ready to be pickled. Maybe in the midday heat next week.
I have also been chipping away at my corners of shame. If my visitors come – at this point it is slipping into the realms of an ‘if’, as the situation here has become, all of a sudden, a bit iffy. And hunkering down in a tight bubble increasingly seems like the best option for the time being. Well, if they come, I want them to enjoy the swing seat and admire the view without risking life and limb to get to it. I know where the steps are and can easily pick my way through the long grass. But for anyone else it is nothing more than a health and safety nightmare. So, each day in the cool of the morning I was out there cutting back the grass and wilderness. I was quite pleased with the results. Not only is it now safe, but I found growing along the side some wild Muehlenbeckia, that with a bit of training can become a nice hedge outlining the path. I can see it now.
And just like that the week slipped out from underneath me, taking the first month of the year with it. But I shall carry on and work on my corners of shame as it is easier to manage the managed than tackling nightmares.
Come again soon – I have another corner to set my sights upon, where all sorts of other problems should find solutions and fall into place as a result.
Sarah the Gardener : o)