Wild Wonderful Weather

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Blooms even more beautiful when kissed by the rain

Today is for nesting, for staying snug.The whole eastern seaboard of Australia is in the thrall of a ‘weather  event’.

When I was a child, extreme weather arrived with little forewarning beyond the gathering of storm clouds and other ominous signs like Grandma’s rheumatism. With increasingly sophisticated technology comes early warning systems and therefore, more time to prepare.

I am prepared today, but must admit to mild anxiety for how the current weather onslaught will affect my garden. Although sheltered, the walled courtyard creates unnatural wind pockets so I braced my shallow-rooted Singapore frangipanni and moved my orchids under cover to protect the delicate blooms. So far, my plants and I are bearing up well.

The rain is a blessing though. The month of May has been a record dry month. I’ve had to rely on my irrigation system which draws stored rainwater from underground tanks. But there’s no denying rain is different, more appreciated; the plants lift their faces heavenward to receive the weather gods’ sweet libation.

But when is too much enough? 190mls in the last 12 hours here on the coast. 230 mls on our nearby mountain village of  Springbrook. King tides and flood warnings. Closed beaches and washing-machine surf. The weather gods are doing their worst.

My grandson woke me early this morning to say Cudgeon Creek was overflowing. Exciting news because it means the big storm water ponds near their house are filling – perfect for tadpoles! I didn’t have the heart to tell him tadpole metamorphosis may be slower or even delayed in winter. We had such fun tadpoling last year.

There’s no overstating how vital the natural elements are to gardeners, determining success or otherwise in the garden. Old wisdom and new technology  empowers us to maximise the benefits and minimise the damage. That person with dirt under her nails and one eye constantly trained on the sky  (or the weather app on her phone) is surely a gardener. References to weather peppering her conversations confirms it.

Our emotional weather is no less determining. We all endure extreme weather events among sweeter periods of sunny calm. Someone said the sun is always shining above the clouds  – something to remember when  dark clouds roll in and threaten to stay.

She stood in the storm

And when the wind did not blow her way,

She adjusted her sails.

Elizabeth Edwards

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Sun shining above an approaching storm over Currumbin

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32 responses to “Wild Wonderful Weather

  1. Dear Robyn, I opened my laptop to write to you and “ping” your blog dropped into my inbox. I thought of you last night when I saw what was happening weatherwise

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    • Hello Ann. There’s something nice about snuggling up inside in this weather. I can see my garden just drinking it up.I imagine you would like some of this rain given you’ve experienced some dry weather too. Thanks for visiting.

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  2. We had some wild weather not long ago – I even managed to get a photo of my street lit by lightening. But now we’re enjoying a spell of clear, still, sunny days.
    I have a very old rose shrub of the kind that sends up new canes every year. It’s got too tall, overgrown, and tangled, with fewer blossoms, so I’m taking advantage of the good weather to start cutting it back and shaping it.

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    • I love the winter time for its clear sunny days Denise. I have tried without much success to grow roses here so I envy you your old bush rose. Pruning them is quite an art. I hope it results in more blooms for you. Nothing like a bowl of fragrant roses in the house.

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      • I decided not to be discouraged by the fact that I know next to nothing about pruning roses. I looked on the internet and found a tutorial that suggested trimming and thinning out this type of shrub-rose before actually pruning it, so that’s what I’m doing. Plus, all the advice I’ve looked at says that roses don’t die as a result of bad pruning. So I took courage.

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  3. Goodness, you’ve had a lot of rain compared to Brisbane. We certainly do need it, but when it is so intense, things are damaged, so it’s understandable. I love the photo of your orchids. Any more thoughts on a re-design?

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    • Thanks Kim. I’ve been thinking of letting more light into the space. I plan to cull a number of heliconias that have become overgrown to that end. With more light I can make the Tuckeroo tree a feature then with orchids and epiphytes up the trunk and branches. I seem to change my mind a lot when it comes to restructuring 🙂

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  4. Start again!!!

    Robyn, ignore the brief message that arrived earlier. I DID not press send but off it went.

    As I was saying, I did wonder how you were faring when I watched last night’s weather forecast for your region. Our weather here today is cold and drizzly. I am warm and cosy and have a CD of Haydn’s string quartets playing. I got all my must do things out of the way this morning so now my afternoon will be writing to you and reading. Bliss.

    I have just returned from a week at Koondrook ( on the Murray between Echuca and Swan Hill ). Koondrook itself is a tiny town with an interesting history, once a busy river port, lots of boat building and timber milling. Coming from a place surrounded by hills, mountains and many rivers, I found the surrounding countryside very flat and unattractive. Sadly, even the river is not very appealing at the moment as the water level is very low and it is covered in blue/green algae. We managed to fill in our time quite happily, exploring the district, playing golf and reading.

    I did start a letter to you before I went away but “stuff” happened and I didn’t get very far. Apart from my mobile, I don’t take any devices with me when i travel.

    I enjoyed very much reading Louise Penny’s ” The Long Way”. I probably should have read her earlier books first as I would have been more familiar with the characters which can help to put their lives in context. It happened to be the only one available. I have another of hers awaiting me at the library. Like you I liked the cranky old poet. Definitely a crone/ wise woman!

    Going back to your Grace blog. That afternoon, after I had read it, I was doing a cryptic crossword and the clue was … Zeus’s daughters, Aglaia,Thalia and Euphrosyne the three …….? Easy for me that one! I had also not long finished “The Long Way” where much was written about the seven daughters of Zeus as muses. And was there in fact an eighth Muse? One of the characters, I’ve forgotten which one, painted with “grace”.

    I’m off to my friend Judith’s 80th birthday celebration tomorrow. I find it hard to believe that some of my friends ( as am I ) are entering this extreme elderly zone. Only ten years ago Jude and I did a lot of very long walks together including an over night walk to the lighthouse at Wilson’s Prom and a five day walk from Harrietville to Beechworth. Whilst we are both reasonably fit, that sort of activity is way beyond us now. It amuses me that special celebrations are held during the day. No more late night parties at our age!!!

    I hope your garden survives the ferocious weather. I’ll keep an eye on the forecast for your area. We’ve had some very welcome rain but need lots more.

    I’ve just re-read this letter and I’m afraid it’s a bit waffly. I just needed to connect. I’ll try and do better next time.

    With lots of love, Ann XO

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    • Dear Ann, the same thing has happened to me! My post takes flight before I even opened the cage door. No harm done. Thanks for your lovely response. I think Claremary will be pleased to hear someone else is enjoying her favourite author. You may like to check out her blog at http://aroundzuzusbarn.com/

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  5. Lovely photo of the orchids, Robyn. Here we had a very welcome mini-storm a few weeks ago (nothing like your kind of weather) and now that seems to be it for the summer. Everything is drying up. But not too hot yet

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  6. Here in the NE of the UK , we have rain aplenty and they are having to build a reservoir system to protect the major road system. The worlds weather is very unsettled at present. Hope all your beautiful plants stay safe

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    • Thank you Brenda. I mustn’t fail to remember others are far worse off. I hope they are able to address the problem you have there. I see they have floods in the middle of Paris too. The world’s weather is changing.

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  7. I love flowers after the rain. As long as it is not one of those wind and rain battering sessions that knocks all the flowers off! We haven’t had any rain this week, but a couple of days of ferocious wind which can be damaging. I hope you and your garden survive the predicted storms. I think both London and Paris have had floods this week! Crazy weather patterns…

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    • The rain has been relentless. No doubt there’ll be some damage but nothing that can’t be repaired Fierce winds are equally destructive. Can you believe we’ve had 360 mls of rain in the last 27 hours? In the upper catchments it has been nearer to 1100 mls. The weather has been terrible in other parts of the world as you say.

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  8. I’m very grateful for all the forecasting technology we have nowadays. I don’t have a garden, of course, but even I can benefit from knowing whether I need to take my big umbrella to work, my little umbrella, or no umbrella at all. 🙂

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