After a few weeks of unbearable heat and oppressive humidity, things were feeling quite dire. The only time the temperatures were low enough to do anything sensible in the garden was briefly in the morning before being driven away with sweat beading on the brow and gasping for a cooling drink. The fans in the house ineffectively pushed warm air about the place but provided little respite. Even the flies that became trapped in house were lazy and drowsy, creating a constant slow battle of swiping them away only to have them immediately return. The overall feeling that summed up these days was apathy. There was certainly no joy, and any bursts of energy were short lived.
But then relief appeared on the horizon. But wielding a double edged sword. It was the reset we were looking for, however there was a price to pay for it. The tropical cyclone Dovi was bearing down bringing with it high winds and rain. The warnings were desperate pleas from the Civil Defence to brace ourselves for the worst. So, we rounded up torches, filled containers with drinking water, and got out the camp stove in case the power went out. We battened down the hatches and secured items that could potentially be a flight risk and waited it out.
It did turn into a pretty serious nationwide event with power out for many, trees down all over the place and great flooding in several regions. For us it seemed like we dodged the worst. The wind straight off the ocean gusted up over 140km/h at the worst of it, but we’ve had gusts of 212km/h before – when the house was up on jacks during the removal process, so we know our house is solid and everything else has been built strong, knowing what nature is capable of.
Our power stayed on throughout and we only got 15mm of rain, but even that isn’t so bad as the ground is still pretty happy with the 115mm we got the previous week in a rainstorm that did nothing to alleviate the temperatures except introduce humidity to what was previously a dry heat.
So today in a great seasonal reset the temperatures are in the low 20°Cs and quite lovely. The sky is blue, and the forecast is promising it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. There will be rain from time to time and that is ok as the garden loves rain, but the heady high temperatures are behind us, and we will begin the slow and pleasant descent into the next season.
My first job is to do what I can to repair the damage from the storm. There isn’t all that much, thank goodness but there are some plants that need a bit of a hand. And then I can once again immerse myself in the garden, enjoying the routine of even the most mundane chores without feeling like it is some kind of endurance test in extreme conditions.
Come again soon – normal daily gardening will resume again.
Sarah the Gardener : o)